Written by Savory Senior Program Director, Byron Shelton
On March 7, 2017, Martha “Pati” Isabel Ruiz Corzo, Director of the Sierra Gorda Biological Reserve in Queretaro, Mexico, a strategic partner with the Savory Institute was joined by Pavan Sukhdev, winner of the Blue Planet Prize, Judy Schwartz, author of Cows Save the Planet, and Byron Shelton, Senior Program Director at Savory Institute, and a dozen holistic management ranchers from several parts of Mexico for the “Activating Local Economies in the Face of Climate Change” Forum.
The Forum was held in the Senate Building in Mexico City with five Senators attending. Over 200 people attended from all parts of Mexico representing Sierra Gorda, government agencies, NGO’s, United Nations, universities, students, ranchers, private entities, and the media.
The purpose of the Forum was to introduce concepts to a broader audience that are working to improve the ecosystem, local economies, and the lives of people making their living from the land and to further the support and funding for programs and training that are making a difference.
Pavan Sukhdev explained the importance of the valuation of ecosystem services in truly evaluating economic models. Patti Ruiz spoke on her proposal to green Mexico through land manager training in holistic management as a part of the Sierra Gorda Biological Reserve management. Byron Shelton explained the global strategy of Savory Institute and the fundamentals of Holistic Management. Judy Schwartz discussed the rationale behind her book Cows Save the Planet and spoke on water and soil sinks. Rancher Servando Diaz explained the success he has had in regenerating his ranch in Chihuahua through holistic management. Other topics covered endangered ecosystems, the importance of bees, subnational financing mechanisms, and carbon credits.
Much interest and enthusiasm was expressed for the information and knowledge shared through the day. The Senators and other attendees were extremely supportive and engaged in the question and answer session at the end of the day. Next steps for moving the dialog forward on many levels were discussed. Sierra Gorda is already moving forward with plans to encourage more support and funding for holistic management training in regenerative agriculture.