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Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve: Carbon Finance for Community Reforestation


Support small-scale reforestation for restoration of degraded lands within one of Mexico’s most ecologically diverse protected areas, the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  Test models for aggregation of small landowners for accessing global carbon finance.

How it will work:

For over 22 years the Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda (GESG) has been working with thousands of rural families in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, developing an innovative model of community development within the most ecosystem-diverse protected area in Mexico.  GESG supports extremely poor upland communities of the reserve and its area of influence in reforesting and restoring over 360 hectares of native forests for carbon capture – mitigating emissions while restoring critical ecosystem functions and diversifying rural livelihoods.

  • This project sequesters carbon by reforesting lands previously converted to agricultural and livestock uses in and around the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve.  
  • Using native pine and other species, plantings are typically small (average 1.1 hectare) and provide long-term restoration of forest cover and watershed protection.  
  • Carbon offsets are generated by a combination of existing (1997-present) and planned plantations (currently to 2013).
  • Bosque Sustentable provides coordinated support, implemented by a team of community organizers and forestry experts, to provide professional training on silvicultural techniques and sustainable forestry management, aggregating, through contracts with landowners, the carbon rights to facilitate access to finance.

Project development Support:

The Incubator is providing technical support through its staff and expert consultants for the development of project design documents and financial structuring, as well as providing financial support for the verification of carbon project stocks and CCB/VCS certification.    

Project Partners:  Sierra Gorda, Bosque Sustentable, Woodrising Consulting,
Project Details: Click Here to View PDF
Market: Voluntary carbon market
Location: Mexico
Project Types: Afforestation & Reforestation
Biome: Subtropical: mountain and Temperate: mountain systems
Hectares: 360 hectares planted
Total Reductions: Approximately 310,000 tCO2 e over the 30-year project life.
Status: PDD developed, based on CDM methodology AR-AMS0001
Verifier: CCB/ VCS by Rainforest Alliance, Q1 2011
Sold: 19,392 tCO2e
Retired: 19,392 tCO2e
Developer: Bosque Sustentable / Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda
Purchasers: United Nations Foundation, World Land Trust, Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo, Schwab Foundatin, LGT Venture Philanthropy, Accionatura
Contact: Jacob Olander [jolander[at]]