FONNOR | An Environmental Fund for the Northwest.
Paola Bauche Petersen, María José Mesén Arias, Cristina Nieto Enrigue, Azucena Mercado Rodríguez, Carolina Salinas García, Velna Mayoral Benoit, Fabiola Gómez Salas y José Machorro Reyes.
FONNOR, A.C. was born in October 2013 as a private regional fund to channel resources, align efforts, and strengthen capacities for the conservation of natural resources in northwestern Mexico. This is a biodiverse region with representative ecosystems that change from coastal wetlands, to jungles and forests, to arid zones, and whose enormous land and marine wealth encourages the presence of organizations with extensive experience in the socio-environmental struggle.
Formed by a group of committed individuals with different professions and backgrounds, the FONNOR team understands that caring for the Mexican northwest is not an isolated effort. We meet our objectives by building partnerships, collaborating with local stakeholders, and facilitating processes that have a common purpose.
At FONNOR, we believe that capacity building is a key ingredient in building more resilient organizations and institutions. Our Capacity Building Program promotes building skills, strategies, and structures in civil society organizations (CSOs) and government agencies and establishes partnerships to address socio-environmental issues. What distinguishes this program is that it’s dynamic, flexible, and realistic in terms of the region’s needs.
An intricate network of social, economic and environmental relationships that converge in northwestern Mexico have favored the presence of civil society organizations, such as CEDO, with over 35 years of history in the region. Something that characterizes the people who work on socio-environmental issues is the passion that moves us to drive changes and improvements on the environment in which we live. At FONNOR, we believe that this passion coupled with the necessary technical and organizational skills allows leading organizations and individuals to be better and more resilient. Our motto: Better organizations make better projects.
Our Capacity Building Program creates a robust network of partnerships among these organizations to generate knowledge and share resources and experiences that benefit an organizational development that has a direct impact on the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources of Mexico’s Northwest. Pescadero, our most iconic capacity building project, provided training to more than 50 CSOs on different topics including leadership and human development, strategic communications, resource mobilization, governance, and the legal and fiscal obligations of CSOs, to fulfill the objective of providing leaders with stronger skills and creating resilient organizations and CSO networks to meet common goals in the region.
Our Watersheds and Biodiversity Program serves strategic areas and fosters a watershed approach in land planning processes while supporting the conservation of species and their habitats.
By developing Integrated Basin Management Action Plans (PAMIC)—tools that focus actions on land based on the supply and demand of hydrological environmental services—we help give visibility to the different initiatives and investments that exist in the area and facilitate communications between stakeholders. We are currently working with Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá, A.C. on the PAMIC for the La Paz sub-basins and aquifer. In the past, we developed the PAMIC for the San Pedro river basins in Nayarit, the Baluarte river in Sinaloa, and in the basins that feed into Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco. In 2020 we began the implementation phase of a PAMIC for the basins comprising the Vallarta region that will ensure hydrological environmental services through conservation and restoration actions in strategic sites, strengthening local capacities, implementing a multilevel monitoring protocol, and designing financial instruments. We also promoted and helped establish the Alianza Montaña- Bahía, a multi-stakeholder platform that seeks to articulate initiatives with the private tourism sector to contribute to the conservation of the natural capital of the Puerto Vallarta and Bahía de Banderas region and foster environmental co-responsibility as an adaptation strategy for climate change based on ecosystems.
Our Watersheds and Biodiversity Program also addresses work with strategic species such as the jaguar, expanding our area of incidence to western Mexico. Here, through the MiJO Project (Integrated Management of the Jaguar Habitat through Community Participation in Western Mexico) we work to protect the jaguar population from illegal hunting and the loss of habitat in 24 ejidos and communities in the states of Jalisco, Nayarit and Durango. MiJO’s activities focus on dialogue and capacity building for biodiversity monitoring to promote best management practices that reduce the jaguar-human conflict and recognize our relationship with the jaguar by acknowledging that our health and well-being depend on the jaguar’s own. The joy and impact of the work that we carry out together with the communities has expanded into urban centers that are located near areas where the jaguar lives. Through celebrations, play, and art we have connected with more than 2000 individuals, who we call “Jaguar Guardians” and who have joined in the mission of working Together for biodiversity’s roar.
Another of our strengths as a regional fund is managing and administering economic resources aimed at strengthening conservation actions in the Northwest. We currently manage the resources for seven protected natural areas: Reserva de la Biosfera Marismas Nacionales Nayarit, Área de Protección de Recursos Naturales Sierra de Vallejo – Río Ameca, Reserva de la Biosfera Islas Marías, Parque Nacional Islas Marietas, Parque Nacional Isla Isabel, Reserva de la Biosfera Bahía de los Ángeles, Canal de Ballenas and Canal de Salsipuedes, and Parque Nacional Cabo Pulmo. We also facilitate project management for universities and other organizations and channel resources from companies to projects such as Volcán de Fuego Montaña de Agua that seek to ensure ecosystem integrity in the water recharge zones of the Colima Brewery.
Thanks to our transparency policies and standards, we are recognized as a trustworthy, ethical and robust fund in administrative management, which has allowed us to facilitate resource management and innovate for sustainability.
Our achievements after seven years of work have been possible thanks to a professional and committed team and the support from both the Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, the organization that created us and has supported us to innovate and mold our own identity, and a recognized Board of Directors from the environmental community in the Northwest and at the national level, who have guided us to become what we are today : a regional fund consolidated and recognized for its role in facilitating and establishing partnerships.
The sum of our conservation efforts in the middle and upper parts of the basins has a direct impact on the coastal ecosystems of northwestern Mexico. Likewise, the sum of our efforts with organizations, local and regional governments, the involvement of the private sector, and the commitment of an organized civil society, make FONNOR fulfill its objectives of training leaders to acquire skills and strengthen resilient organizations and multi-stakeholder networks for the conservation and sustainable use of the natural resources of the Northwest.