The first forum on Mangrove Management, Preservation and Restoration and their relation with the Coastal Dune in Yucatán was held last May 27 in San Crisanto, Yucatán; during this event there was a space created for the exchange of experiences and information regarding the methodologies implemented by the different groups and institutions who work and have worked on projects regarding mangrove management, preservation and restoration in the State of Yucatán. The key objective of the forum was communicating the methods that may be used and implemented in restoration and recovery of mangrove areas with an anthropogenic impact or a natural event such as storms or hurricanes. The projects submitted were those carried out successfully in Yucatán which have been financed by the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) through their special project program part of the "Pro Árbol" program.
In this first edition of the Forum, the beneficiaries of the CONAFOR projects, part of the community groups of Dzilam de Bravo, Sisal, San Crisanto, Celestún, and Progreso were present, as well as technical advisors and staff from different government and non-government organizations who carry out projects for mangrove restoration in the State. Each one presented the results of their restoration, research and rehabilitation works, which are successful projects and in some way can be replicated as models or technology packages with the support of the National Forestry Commission.
The participation of DUMAC (Ducks Unlimited de México) was given by Biol. David Alonzo with the presentation regarding Principles and guidelines in the selection of wetlands for mangrove restoration. This presentation emphasized the need of having a national program for wetland rehabilitation with the description of the selection criteria of the sites and specific objectives for restoration; likewise; Biol. Alonzo pointed out the need for the financing institutions and those carrying out mangrove rehabilitation projects in the country, to consider the success assessment of these projects within their diagnostic programs, and not only concentrate the efforts in their implementation.
As part of the successful projects financed by CONAFOR, Biol. David Canul from DUMAC presented the results obtained in the restoration project of restoration I subzone of Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve. This mangrove rehabilitation project has become a model to follow at a national level, since out of the 35 ha of mangroves affected, approximately 80% have been recovered and currently there are mangrove tree areas of up to 12 meters high. The project concentrated efforts in creating favorable hydrological conditions for the natural restoration of mangrove instead of reforesting with individuals coming from nurseries.
The successful restoration of the restoration I subzone of Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve, has had the support and collaboration of the Direction of Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve of CONANP; as well as CINVESTAV - Mérida Unit and researchers from Louisiana State University, with whom there have had important training and monitoring initiatives in mangrove rehabilitation processes.
During the event, we had the presence of the State Manager of CONAFOR in Yucatán Ms. Lucia Canto Lara, M. in S. José Medina Mora de León National Manager for Development and Technology Transfer in CONAFOR and Mr. Agustín Torres Rivas (CONAFOR Yucatán).
As part of the Forum activities, a visit was made to the mangrove area in the community of San Crisanto, Yucatán; where experiences were shared between the community leaders, technical staff from the organizations and authorities from CONAFOR. In that place, Professor José Medina (CONAFOR) talked about the existing options for financing in the next convocation of the National Forestry Program (PRONAFOR) and the on-line availability for technology packages generated to date by the National Forestry Commission.