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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Biodiversity & Land Use | Banamex Ecological Foundation
 

Bank prioritises forests,
water and endangered species

Banamex Ecological Foundation

Baby Turtles protected at La Escobilla, Oaxaca in México © Gabriel Roux
Baby Turtles protected at La Escobilla, Oaxaca in México © Gabriel Roux

Banamex Ecological Foundation – Fomento Ecológico – talks about its remit to restore forests, conserve natural water storages and protect endangered species as these are key challenges to resolve. Reforestation of forests helps balance temperatures in the long term, and the restoration of forests means natural habitats of endangered species are conserved, which in many cases are affected by climate change. The Foundation also works with communities whose basic economy perhaps exploits these areas – offering projects with a sustainable economic alternative.

Established in 2000, the Foundation is a subsidiary of the Banamex Financial Group, part of Citigroup. It focuses on the promotion of efficient use of scarce natural resources and the protection of México’s natural ecosystem and supports projects that promote sustainable development.

Most recently, towards the end of 2009, Fomento Ecológico campaigned internally for the use of electronic bills, whereby the bank agreed to pay a tree for each client billed electronically. More than 300,000 clients decided to receive their bills this way, so Banamex paid Fomento Ecológico the money to plant 300,000 trees in the Izta-Popo National Park.

Its founder, Banamex, is also a sponsor of The Climate Project – Al Gore´s initiative to train a group of individuals to become presenters or spokesmen to spread a message against global warming. The bank sponsored the first Latin-American meeting in México City, where 22 collaborators were trained. This alliance contributes to the construction of a network to communicate and reinforce an environmental conscience.

On a more strategic level, Fomento Ecológico Banamex focuses on programmes within:

  • water fabrics and reforestation;
  • community Projects;
  • protection of endangered animal species;
  • environmental education; and,
  • climate change workshops.

New jobs have been created for the communities, offering incentives to encourage the protection of the land, as well as natural species of plants and animals. With Banamex’s help, the communities have established small businesses that attend local markets and have increased their income. All of the conservation activities are carried out by the members of the local community, which decreases their abuse of the species for income, and in turn, they make a living by keeping the species safe.

Banamex Ecological Foundation logo
Banamex Ecological Foundation
www.banamex.com

 

Successes of programmes and partnerships

Water Fabrics programme

This encourages reforestation and maintenance of land and trees, involving owners and inhabitants. The main goal is the restoration of natural water storages in partnership with public and private bodies.

a) Izta-Popo Park

  • 7,669 acres reforested and enclosed for protection;
  • 2,134,290 trees planted; and,
  • production of organic jelly – a small business was established.

b) Nevado de Toluca Park

  • 3,407 acres reforested and enclosed for protection;
  • 1,206,470 trees planted; and,
  • 80% survival.
Conservation in natural reserves

a) “El Triunfo” Reserve in Chiapas

  • 2,140 trees planted;
  • 6,437 plants delivered to wood producers for sustainable projects;
  • 17 botanical gardens renovated to obtain 200 thousand palm trees; and,
  • the project seeks to reforest 271 acres with a density of 2,500 palm trees per acre.

b) “Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona” in Chiapas

  • conservation of the “Jolochero” region;
  • sustainable development trainings for the community; and,
  • development of a tourism project that involves ecological paths.
Turtle protection

México has become a turtle sanctuary because seven of the Earth’s eight species of turtles travel huge distances to nest in Mexican beaches. It is the country’s duty to protect these turtles and their nests. Fomento Ecológico, in partnership with the Azteca Foundation, campaigned to raise money for this project in 2003.

As a result, around 55 turtle camps have been supported across 13 Mexican states, with:

  • 158,000 nests guarded;
  • 15 million eggs collected for protection;
  • 6.7 million baby turtles liberated – delivered back to the beach so they can return to the sea; and,
  • 151 jobs created.
 
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