Landowners from the Custepec Estate within the El Triunfo Biophere Reserve in Chiapas signed conservation easements to protect a total of 1381 hectares (3412 acres). The conservation easement is just one of several voluntary land conservation tools promoted by Pronatura Sur in conjunction with The Nature Conservancy.
By signing these contracts, the owners of seven properties within the Custepec Estate have committed to protecting a key section of temperate, pine-oak and evergreen forest harboring threatened or endangered species as well as Mexican endemics, among them the horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus), azure-rumped tanager (Tangara cabanisi), resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus moccino) and tapir (Tapirus bairdii).
The protection of these seven forest plots within the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve connects two of the reserve’s core zones to maintain ecological processes critical to the area’s biodiversity.
This initiative of Pronatura Sur to establish a connectivity corridor between the core zones began in 2003 with the support of non-governmental institutions such as The Nature Conservancy, Reforestamos México and the El Triunfo Conservation Fund. The project is helping conservation groups carry out necessary field work on properties whose owners have demonstrated an interest in conserving their land for biodiversity.
The Custepec Estate has been a pioneer in this effort. In addition to being the first to establish coffee growing in the region, the estate was the first in Chiapas to establish conservation easements for the benefit of El Triunfo. Property owners of three additional forest plots in the estate signed agreements in July 2007 to protect 1003 hectares (2478 acres). In so doing, the estate is serving as a positive role model to neighboring land owners in the region who have important habitats and species on their properties.
For more information, contact Christiana Ferris at +52(55)5661-1153 Ext. 119 or Patricia González Domínguez at +52(961)678-5000.
Pronatura Sur is a Mexican non-governmental organization dedicated to the conservation of plants, animals and priority ecosystems, promoting the development of society in harmony with nature over time.
The seven signatories reiterated their commitment to conservation through 99-year easements on their properties. As part of the agreements, the properties are subdivided into areas designated for conservation – in which only research activities may be conducted – and mixed-use areas – in which only activities such as shade-grown coffee production or ecotourism are permissible.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.