Mexico

Oil palm expansion without enclosure: smallholders and environmental narratives

Background

Oil palm expansion has been shown to cause deforestation and reduce land and resource availability for communities located near plantations. It has also been shown to have mixed impacts on local livelihoods. Some studies point to socially different impacts, with small and marginal farmers less likely to benefit from oil palm expansion while others find significant increases in incomes. This paper seeks to understand the factors that make smallholder farmers participate in oil palm expansion, and outline the varied narratives that are used by the proponents of oil palm expansion.

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Vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate change in Central America and Mexico: current knowledge and research gaps

Background

This article recognizes that smallholder farmers are both critical to the global agricultural sector yet are one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change. Specifically, farmers in Central America and Mexico are experiences particularly high threats, thus the authors focus on this subgroup.

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Pest management through tropical tree conservation

Background

Deforestation and crop monocultures in Veracruz, Mexico are leading to the disappearance of indigenous trees and the animal species that depend on them. This is particularly troubling to local agricultural workers who benefit from species like hymenopteran parasitoids that attack pest fruit flies. This research evaluates the relationship between hymenopteran parasitoids, pest fruit flies and their fruit hosts and proposes potential strategies for conservation and pest management.

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Functional divesity changes during tropical forest succession

Background

This paper evaluates changes in species richness and functional diversity during tropical secondary forest succession following shifting cultivation in Chiapas, Mexico, particularly examining whether speces richness is a good predictor of functional diversity. Functional diversity was calculated based on a combination of nine functional traits, and two individual traits important for primary production (specific leaf area) and carbon sequestration (wood density).

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Combining ecological, social and technical criteria to select species for forest restoration

Background

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Conserving Tropical Tree Diversity and Forest Structure: The Value of Small Rainforest Patches in Moderately-Managed Landscapes

Background

Due to deforestation and degradation in rainforests, there has been an increase in small forest patches yet there is limited understanding of this structures contribution to biodiversity and ecosystem services. The authors of this study attempt to answer this question through studying a a moderately managed landscape in the tropics of Mexic

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Socio-Economic Indicators for Forest Restoration Projects

Background

This study develops model for assessing the socio-economic outcomes of forest restoration projects. The authors first identifies core social and economic indicators being monitored during and after forest restoration activities; devise a robust and agile model for assessing socio-economic outcomes at different levels of restoration project objectives and resource availability; develop practical and scientific approach and model; and to refine the metric and model for use by the New Mexico’s federally-funded Collaborative Forest Restoration Program (CFRP).

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Watershed Management for Ecosystem Services in Human Dominated Landscapes of the Neotropics

Background

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Silvopastoral Systems and their Contribution to Improved Resource Use and Sustainable Development Goals: Evidence from Latin America

Background

Of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015, livestock can contribute to the majority of them. Specifically, silvopastoral systems, which integrate cattle intensification and natural processes, is often promoted to achieve the joint economic, social, and environmental focus of the SDGs. Using three established silvopastoral systems in Latin American (Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia) as case-studies, this paper applies an analytical framework in order to determine the systems productivity and the socio-economic benefits. 

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Native trees and shrubs for the productive rehabilitation of tropical cattle ranching lands

Background

Latin America, much like the rest of the rest of the world, has experienced significant deforestation rates. In this region, the primary driver has been large-scale land conversion to unsustainable uses, like industrial cattle ranching and agriculture. This article recognizes the deep-rootedness of cattle in Latin American economies and cultures, yet stresses the need to shift the paradigm by adopting intensive silvopastoral systems (ISS) that utilize native species. 

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