Is agroforestry feasible towards conservation in protected areas? An ongoing case study in rural Mexico
Is agroforestry feasible towards conservation in protected areas? An ongoing case study in rural Mexicowca2014-2502 Victor Avila-Akerberg 1,*Gabino Nava-Bernal 1Angel Endara-Agramont 1Luis MIguel Mandujano 2Gerardo Ceballos 3 1Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, 2CONANP, 3Instituto de Ecología, UNAM, Mexico, Mexico
In situ conservation in Mexico is based in natural protected areas with different categories. They now cover ca. 12% of the territory, from which 8% is covered by biosphere reserves. National parks have the most and oldest protected areas in Mexico, with the first decree in 1917. They cover 1.3% of the territory and represent spaces of high species and ecosystem biodiversity where management activities are restricted. Nevado de Toluca is a forested volcano of 53,000 hectares that used to be a national park from 1936 up to 2013. In this time 5,500 hectares of forest have been fragmented and degraded, 10,000 people established inside the protected area polygon, and maize, potatoes, wheat and cattle are extensively cultivated, being most of these activities illegal, according to the national park status. An initiative by some society individuals from the academy and NGOs, the Mexican National Commission on Protected Areas (CONANP) and local stakeholders proposed a change of status in Nevado de Toluca protected area. From September 2013 it became a “Flora and Fauna Conservation Area”, a less strict status that allows management and agroforestry activities. We propose a zonification and management plan that include a strong link between the local stakeholders and the academy, with preservation areas (strict conservation) and agroforestry actions that do not compromise the sustainability of this volcano. From this background the question is which are the best agroforestry practices involved in the policies in order to get the best natural resources management?