THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Mexico is one of the twelve countries in the world with the highest biodiversity. It hosts between 10 and 12 % of the biological diversity on only 1,5% of the surface of the planet and more than 2.500.000 people live in natural protected areas. One of the most important challenges for the country in the upcoming years is to preserve the unique natural heritage and to make it useful for economic development as well as for social justice. Bridging the gap between these aspects isn´t easy to manage but the Mexican Country Unit developed an innovative concept which focus on the important topic of sustainable nature conservation which contributes to the protection of the natural heritage.
Strengthening the entrepreneurial ecosystem
These facts are not the only ones which were considered by setting up the concept framework. The aspects that almost one third of the Mexican population is under 30 years old, that a large proportion of them didn´t had access to high school education which leads to the fact that poverty and a lack of opportunities for youth in communities, for example in areas of priority for conservation, influenced the concept design as well. The fact of missing opportunities is a reason for young people to leave their villages and earn money in the cities which causes loss of important knowledge of sustainable land-use. So the Country Unit didn’t just focus on nature conservation within the concept they also included the opportunity to involve youth & their knowledge of sustainable land- use in the project.
For this purpose the Mexico CU is working on developing Nature Lab Mexico, a platform that seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem within or near protected natural areas and conservation priority areas in Mexico, linking public, private and conservation scientists as well as the beneficiaries themselves, to find solutions that benefit communities, youth and nature alike.
Most recently Nature Lab Mexico won a contest to participate in a Hackathon in NY City focused organizations working on issues related to the United Nations Millennium Development goals. http://www.connect2effect.com.
To find out more about the projects, click on the flags below.