Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda


Organisation’s aim: To conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable management of natural resources within Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, in central Mexico.


Partner History

A small group of local residents formed the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) in 1987 for the protection and preservation of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, located within the Eastern Sierra Madre mountain range. GESG has over 20 years of experience in developing programmes in environmental education, habitat restoration, training, and management of natural resources.


Partnership with WLT

In 2006, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda attended the partners’ symposium in the Netherlands and were introduced to World Land Trust (WLT) as a potential partner in Mexico. After a site visit to investigate the feasibility of Carbon Balanced projects in the area, WLT and GESG became official partners in 2007.

WLT supports GESG with land purchase funding so they can increase their network of reserves within the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve. Since 2005, GESG has also been running its own carbon sequestration programme in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and WLT contributed to this in 2007 by purchasing carbon offsets for its Carbon Balanced programme.

In addition, WLT supports the on-going protection of Sierra Gorda by funding rangers through the Keepers of the Wild appeal.


Other projects and activities

  • Running an environmental education programme, including school presentations, tours, craft workshops, and community work days;
  • Reforestation and watershed protection;
  • Community projects, such as recycling and helping local women develop their skills;
  • Running ecotourism to generate a sustainable income for the reserve.

Awards and Achievements

As of 2014, GESG has won more than 34 national and international awards, some of which are highlighted below. See a full list and specific achievements on the GESG website.

2014: GESG wins Energy Globe award for Mexico. The award recognises projects and organisations that represent exemplary, sustainable solutions to environmental challenges. In 2014, the award attracted more than 1,000 submissions from more than 120 countries

2013: GESG is one of three winners of TO DO! 2013 awards for Socially Responsible Tourism (award announced 5 March 2014)

2013: GESG Co-founder was named the UNEP Champion of the Earth for Inspiration and Action

2009: An award from Progreso Network for developing Sierra Gorda Products; the Environmental Education Program won an award from Compartir Foundation

2008: GESG’s project ‘Reducing the Impact of Cattle Ranching on Biodiversity’ received an award from the Competitive Fund of the World Bank; awards for the efficient management of solid wastes by Mexico´s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the Confederation of Employers of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX)

2007:  Martha Ruiz Corzo was recognised by the Partners in Flight Stewardship Award of the American Birding Association, for outstanding contributions in the conservation of birds; GESG was a national winner in the the Energy Globe Award in Sustainability, Earth category, with the project ‘Development of Ecosystem Products’.


Contact Details

Technical Officer: Roberto Pedraza Ruiz