High in the mountains of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Oriental, in the municipality of Xilitla, our partner Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) oversees a Carbon Balanced project with community at its heart. The people living here have been caring for their forest home for generations. “We don’t want it to go away,” says Oralia Hernández. “It gives us water, it gives us air. I am grateful to be here.” Today, as COP26 continues to discuss solutions to the climate crisis, we’re resharing GESG’s videos for a project that is showing how all can benefit when carbon-rich forests are protected.
In the ‘Carbono Biodiverso en Xilitla’ video series, you’ll meet community members whose ejido system of communal land tenure has been preserved as part of our Carbon Balanced project. You’ll hear from GESG staff who measure the carbon-capture capacity of Xilitla’s cloud forests. You’ll see oak, fir, sweetgum, magnolia and Mexican Yew trees bedecked in mosses and bromeliads, while camera trap footage will reveal the wildlife supported by this biodiverse habitat: species like the Jaguar, Puma, Spotted Skunk and Bearded Wood-partridge.
“IT GIVES US WATER AND AIR”: A WINDOW INTO XILITLA, PART ONE
Every ejido in Xilitla operates under community management. In this video, you’ll hear from current and former committee members of the La Trinidad ejido as well as GESG forestry technician Juan Hernández, who speaks about the climate, community and conservation benefits of the Xilitla project.
“WE THANK WLT SUPPORTERS”: A WINDOW INTO XILITLA, PART TWO
This video introduces the Coronel Castillo ejido, with contributions from community members and GESG’s Chief of Forestry Projects, Salvador Sarabia Rivas. Salvador talks us through the carbon sampling procedure and explains why cloud forests are so effective as carbon sinks.
“CONSERVATION HERE HELPS THE PLANET”: A WINDOW INTO XILITLA, PART THREE
Hilario Sánchez Martínez, commissariat of the Ollita del Pino ejido, is our guide for this video. Join him as he shares with us why his forests are so important, and why his community are “compelled to conserve them”.
In each of GESG’s videos, you’ll have heard our partner’s staff and the Xilitla communities offer their sincere gratitude to you, the WLT supporter. Because of you, residents of Xilitla’s four ejidos now receive an income that allows them to remain as stewards of their land, instead of turning to unsustainable practices like cattle ranching. Monitoring systems are now in place to guard against illegal logging, while improvements to community infrastructure are on the way.
The deals and pledges (or lack thereof) coming out of COP26 have drawn a mixed reception around the world. While governments will need to be held to account for their response to the climate crisis over the coming years, as WLT CEO Jonathan Barnard wrote before the summit, there is much that can be achieved now through collective action – as WLT supporters have been doing for more than 30 years.
We believe that GESG’s videos are invaluable, and we hope you do too. To see the land and biodiversity that you’re saving – to hear the men and women whose lives you’re changing – is the best possible illustration of a fact: when you save habitats with WLT, communities benefit.
At a pivotal time in our efforts against climate change, you can make a tangible impact for the planet by choosing to offset your emissions with us, whether you’re an individual or part of an organisation.
Let’s make a difference for Xilitla – together!