Theme 7: Capacity--Oral Sessions

Description

Since the creation of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mapimi (BRM) in Mexico 45 years ago, pastoralism has undergone a series of transformations. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, horse breeding flourished until 1900; thereafter extensive cattle production lasted for six decades. Only recently, farmers have adopted alternative management types for organic meat production. National and international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require basic, applied, and participatory research efforts. In the socio-ecological pastoral system BRM, first halophytic ecosystems were examined for their ecohydrological role in rangeland productivity. In 1996, a long-term ecological research site was installed to monitor the effects of herbivores on the composition and biodiversity of desert communities. Shortly thereafter, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas began a rigorous monitoring and conservation program to guarantee both the sustainable management of natural resources and the sustainable development of reserve dwellers. Soon international multisectoral institutions joined Mexican efforts to protect the natural, cultural, and social diversity of the BRM and to strengthen its socio-ecological resilience to climate change and land degradation. Hence, the BRM is currently a space of participatory monitoring and research, with emphasis on the health of this important socio-ecological pastoralist system. It is examined whether institutional programs promoting organic livestock farming are compatible with this desert system and how biological soil crust is developing as a fundamental indicator of soil functioning and the provision of ecosystem services and human wellbeing. The formation of multisectoral partnerships to foster dryland sustainability have led to the foundation of the International Network for Dryland Sustainability; it is currently coordinating a national network of participatory socio-ecological observatories (PSEOs) to promote the SDGs. Mapimi is one of the first PSEOs to promote local governance and social and ecological sustainable development in the drylands of Mexico and world-wide.

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Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research in the Biosphere Reserve in Mapimi, Mexico: A Multidimensional Participatory Observatory of Rangeland/Pastoral Systems

Since the creation of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Mapimi (BRM) in Mexico 45 years ago, pastoralism has undergone a series of transformations. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, horse breeding flourished until 1900; thereafter extensive cattle production lasted for six decades. Only recently, farmers have adopted alternative management types for organic meat production. National and international efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require basic, applied, and participatory research efforts. In the socio-ecological pastoral system BRM, first halophytic ecosystems were examined for their ecohydrological role in rangeland productivity. In 1996, a long-term ecological research site was installed to monitor the effects of herbivores on the composition and biodiversity of desert communities. Shortly thereafter, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas began a rigorous monitoring and conservation program to guarantee both the sustainable management of natural resources and the sustainable development of reserve dwellers. Soon international multisectoral institutions joined Mexican efforts to protect the natural, cultural, and social diversity of the BRM and to strengthen its socio-ecological resilience to climate change and land degradation. Hence, the BRM is currently a space of participatory monitoring and research, with emphasis on the health of this important socio-ecological pastoralist system. It is examined whether institutional programs promoting organic livestock farming are compatible with this desert system and how biological soil crust is developing as a fundamental indicator of soil functioning and the provision of ecosystem services and human wellbeing. The formation of multisectoral partnerships to foster dryland sustainability have led to the foundation of the International Network for Dryland Sustainability; it is currently coordinating a national network of participatory socio-ecological observatories (PSEOs) to promote the SDGs. Mapimi is one of the first PSEOs to promote local governance and social and ecological sustainable development in the drylands of Mexico and world-wide.