For more than twenty-five years and with the support of the US Agency for International Development, the US Forest Service and Mexican partners have collaborated to improve natural resources management and conserve biodiversity by supporting activities in community forestry, conserving migratory species, forest monitoring, protected area management and wildland fire management.
As neighbors, the United States and Mexico share many natural resources challenges, such as the threat of invasive species and uncontrolled wildland fires. To address these challenges, the US Forest Service collaborates with Mexican counterparts to better manage natural resources across North America. Through the North American Forest Commission, the US, Mexico and Canada have collaborated for more than 50 years on topics related to forest management.
Much of Mexico’s forests have been heavily deforested and degraded, resulting in loss of potential for climate change mitigation, timber production, watershed protection, biodiversity and the many needs of local communities. One of the keys for improving forest management and conservation, and sustaining forest production, is to help decision makers, natural resources managers, stewards of land, community members and academics, make science-based decisions with the best available information, existing best management practices, tested tools and methodologies, and forest monitoring systems. As part of the US Agency for International Development (USAID)/Mexico Sustainable Landscapes Program, the U.S. Forest Service strengthens institutional and technical capacity of Mexican organizations to manage and restore forests, improve forest governance and legality, and reduce greenhouse gases associated with deforestation and forest degradation. The overall goals of this program are to strengthen Mexican natural resources management institutions and organizations so they have the knowledge, technical capacity and tools to manage and restore forests, prevent deforestation and forest degradation, reduce GHG emissions and support livelihoods dependent on forests.
The US Forest Service provides diverse capacity building activities, including direct technical assistance, workshops, courses, webinars, seminars, study tours to share US examples, sabbaticals and technical meetings. US Forest Service employees and Mexican counterparts share their experience on a regular basis, and this close partnership allows both parties to better address dynamic natural resource management challenges. These professional relationships often develop into friendships that go beyond a particular activity, and strengthen the bonds between our neighboring nations.