Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, I.A.P.

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda I.A.P. (GESGIAP) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1987 by a group of local residents of the Sierra Gorda, Querétaro, one of the most eco-diverse and low-income regions in Mexico, and a Biosphere Reserve since 1997. Sierra Gorda has shown that a project promoting conservation, biodiversity protection and sustainable development can be successful and achieves measurable results when it involves society and gains the support of public and private partners.

Sierra Gorda organizes 35,000 local people each year in diverse activities such as community clean-up, environmental education, productive development, soil regeneration and conservation. Specific achievements include Payments for Environmental Services, establishing private nature reserves and developing ecosystem products.

Sierra Gorda’s actions boost the local economy by making it possible for small-scale farmers to conserve their land and market their carbon offsets, and by helping to develop responsible ecotourism in the region. In addition, the organization promotes agricultural best practices that stimulate the reintroduction of the biological value of soil while at the same time improving organic productivity. All of Sierra Gorda’s work is aimed toward generating economic value and opportunities for farmers and the owners of the forest resources.