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Local Communities Fight Climate Change

Green San Miguel

By Hugo Contreras

The Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CCA), formed by the secretaries of state for the environment of the three signatory countries of the Tratado de Libre Comercio de América del Norte, TLCAN (NAFTA)—Catherine McKenna from Canada, Gina McCarthy from the US, and Rafael Pacchiano Alamán representing Mexico—recently announced the winners of the North American Alliance for Environmental Community Action grants program.

The executive director of CCA, César Rafael Chávez, said, “These are community-based projects that reflect the commitment of Canada, the United States, and Mexico in support of proposals from nongovernmental organizations and nonprofits working closely with communities in order to improve environmental conditions in their regions.”

As part of the effort to address environmental problems at the local level, CETERUS, AC, will carry out a project to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the livestock sector in San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo.

“We are very pleased that the CEC supports rural and indigenous communities, representing a turning point in the region by involving local people in helping to reduce greenhouse gases as a way to combat climate change. The emission of greenhouse gases worldwide connected to livestock production amounts to 7.1 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year. It is important to work at the local level because 18 percent of global emissions are caused by livestock,” said the director of CETERUS, AC, Marisol Sánchez.

The project will be carried out in two municipalities of Guanajuato: San Miguel de Allende and Dolores Hidalgo. Communities where biodigesters and technical assistance to improve production and reforestation will be established are Bandita, Montecillo de la Milpa, Los López, Rancho San Rafael, La Colorada, and Santa Rosa Presita. A nursery of local species will be established in Cerrito de los Chávez. The project beneficiaries are indigenous Otomí and a rural population in extreme poverty, which uses firewood as the main fuel source and has herds of cows, sheep, and horses.


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