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Corporate Commitment to Wilderness and an Expanded Commitment to El-Carmen by Armando Garcia
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Corporate Commitment to Wilderness and an Expanded Commitment to El-Carmen by Armando Garcia

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Armando Garcia, Executive Vice President for Technology, Energy and Sustainability with CEMEX, spoke during the Saturday (7 November) WILD9 plenary, introducing the Corporate Commitment to Wilderness …

Armando Garcia, Executive Vice President for Technology, Energy and Sustainability with CEMEX, spoke during the Saturday (7 November) WILD9 plenary, introducing the Corporate Commitment to Wilderness and CEMEX's expanded commitment to the El-Carmen Wilderness area.

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  • Good morning ladies and gentlemen it is a pleasure to be here with you at the 9th World Wilderness Congress. I would like to tell you about our El Carmen Conservation Initiative and The Wilderness Journey we have been on for the past four years, which began in 2005 at the 8th World Wilderness Congress held in Anchorage, Alaska.
  • First, I would like to start with some key points about Who is CEMEX, CEMEX is: A leading global supplier of cement, ready-mix concrete, and aggregates. Present in more than 50 countries around the world. One of the world’s top traders of cement and clinker.
  • In CEMEX, we have learned that it’s important not only to comply with environmental requirements worldwide, but also to be proactive in protecting biodiversity. In 1993, we started our Conservation Book Series, partnering with leading NGOs to produce every year an outstanding book that helps to create awareness and promote the conservation of our natural resources. We believe that, “We can only take care of those things we know”, this has been the driving force for our editorial conservation work… This years book, The Wealth of Nature, is about ecosystem services and was produced in collaboration with IUCN, Conservation International and our publishing partner, The International League of Conservation Photographers.
  • Also, we have been working “hands on” at the field level with projects that help protect and restore habitat and wildlife. One example is, Campo Santa Maria, a management area in northern Mexico, where we have successfully recovered habitat and wildlife populations. Another example is our Red Wood Forest in Santa Cruz, California, where we manage a sustainable forest and collaborate with government agencies, universities and NGOs to protect this biodiversity hotspot.
  • In 2000, we expanded our commitment to conservation by launching our global flagship initiative at El Carmen, a transboundary biological corridor located along Mexico and the US border. Situated adjacent to the Big Bend National Park, this Chihuahuan Desert Ecological Corridor has been recognized by The World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, BirdLife International and many other leading conservation organizations as a global priority area for conservation.
  • El Carmen – Big Bend, Conservation and Wildlife Corridor El Carmen is the area you see outlined in yellow. It represents approximately 200,000 hectares of consolidated conservation land… made possible by the CEMEX land and that of other private landowners. El Carmen is a mayor influence on the bigger consolidated cross-border area which represents more than 1.3 million hectares of protected land, and is one of the largest international protected areas in the world. CLICK Outlined in blue is the latest addition this year, announced by the Mexican government is the Ocampo Flora and Fauna Protected Area, adding a further 344 thousand hectares. Also as you may know, both federal governments recently announced their commitment to further strengthen conservation along the U.S. and Mexico border, and will develop a plan to enhance coordination in the Big Bend and El Carmen areas.
  • Baseline Inventory El Carmen contributes to sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity conservation. First we started with a Baseline Inventory. El Carmen is part of one of the most biologically rich desert eco-regions in the world, alive with large mammals, birds, reptiles and a wide diversity of cactus species. To date, the baseline inventory at El Carmen has identified over 500 species of plants, 289 species of birds, 81 species of reptiles and amphibians, 78 species of mammals and 140 species of butterflies. CLICK In 2005, a new butterfly species was discovered at El Carmen, the Joboni Satyr.
  • Scientific Research El Carmen has been the location for many studies over the years, however, the current study of the black bear is of key importance. We are monitoring 58 radio collared bears, our study focuses on habitat preference, genetics, diet, home range, bear movements and mortality. A priority of our research is to provide sound biological data to Mexican agencies for black bear management in northern Mexico.
  • Long-term Management Plan CEMEX is very committed to achieving a sustainable management plan that is anchored to a strong science base. El Carmen has ecosystems ranging from the desert floor to the forest in the mountains. CLICK The core components of El Carmen’s long-term management plan are the protection of the biodiversity in the area, the recovery of damaged lands and the restoration of native wildlife to viable populations. A key component of the management plan is “qualified people with a tireless passion for their work”.
  • Habitat Restoration - 10,000 ha of Native Grasslands Restored As many ecosystems in the world, El Carmen was heavily impacted,… due to overgrazing. One of the most ecologically important features of the Chihuahuan Desert is the huge area of native grasslands, they are fundamental to the preservation of major watersheds and rivers. Also, in today's urgent climate agenda, the carbon sequestration potential of Chihuahuan Desert grasslands should play an important role. We have restored more than 10,000 hectares with the Lawson Aerator.
  • Wildlife Restoration At El Carmen there is no higher priority than the restoration of native wildlife. We are working with six large mammal species: three that we reintroduced, the Desert Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Pronghorn Antelope; together with the Carmen Mountain Whitetailed Deer, Mule Deer, and Black Bear, whose populations are now increasing. We believe that viable populations of wildlife is central to recovering the unique biodiversity of the region. Also, visible wildlife populations bring life and excitement to the landscape, and provides a more economically sustainable balance between domestic livestock and wildlife.
  • Conservation Partnerships with NGOs, Governments and Neighbors El Carmen provides a neutral space for conservation leaders to build “Common Ground” that facilitates conservation partnerships and collaboration. This visit of BirdLife International and PRONATURA was part of the process that led to CEMEX’s global agreement with them.
  • Conservation Partnerships with NGOs, Governments and Neighbors Another example was the visit of the US and Mexico government delegations to explore a bi-national project of Desert Grassland and Watershed Restoration.
  • Four years ago in Anchorage, Alaska at the 8th World Wilderness Congress, we designated 10,000 hectares of El Carmen as the first wilderness area in Mexico and Latin America. The designation of the El Carmen Wilderness Area was structured as a collaboration between several key participants. A Memorandum Of Understanding was signed.
  • I was personally very pleased and greatly surprised by the very positive reception of this announcement… This inspired us to think of how we could continue our commitment.
  • “ First Wilderness Designation in Mexico and Latin America” Today, I am very pleased to announce here at the 9th World Wilderness Congress that the area of 10,000 ha designated in Anchorage has now been expanded to 22,400 hectares. This expanded wilderness area is one of the most remote and pristine areas of El Carmen, and as you can see is adjacent to the Big Bend National Park on the US side.
  • The official certification process with CONANP was completed in November, 2008. The official name for the El Carmen Wilderness Area is “TIERRA SILVESTRE CAÑÓN DEL DIABLO”.
  • The El Carmen Wilderness is located in the uniquely biodiverse area of Canyon Diablo, which is a vast canyon complex truly representative of wilderness.
  • Our positive experience in WILD 8 inspired us to work with The WILD Foundation to help engage the participation of other corporations in wilderness conservation. In September this year, we invited a key group of corporations to attend a CEMEX workshop at our corporate offices in Monterrey, to discuss the leadership role that the private sector can play in conservation, and specifically to make the “ Business case for Protecting Wilderness ”.
  • Recognized experts in wilderness conservation participated in the workshop. Vance Martin , president of The WILD Foundation; Exequiel Ezcurra , director of the UC-Mexus at the University of California and WILD9 executive committee chairman; Nelly Correa , ITESM university professor and president of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation; Jorge Soberon , senior scientist at the University of Kansas and Carlos Muñoz , general director for environmental politics and economy at Instituto Nacional de Ecologia in Mexico. We had a very successful workshop that has resulted in the “Corporate Commitment To Wilderness”. I now turn the program over to Vance Martin, President of The Wild Foundation, who will explain the importance of the “Corporate Commitment To Wilderness” and to share his vision and the progress that has been accomplished to date.
  • Transcript

    • 1. ARMANDO GARCIA MEXICO Corporate Commitment to Wilderness El Carmen – An Expanded Commitment
    • 2. CORPORATE COMMITMENT TO WILDERNESS El Carmen Wilderness, an expanded commitment ©Wyman Meinzer
    • 3. CEMEX is…
      • A leading global supplier of cement, ready-mix concrete, and aggregates.
      • Present in more than 50 countries around the world.
      • One of the world’s top traders of cement and clinker.
    • 4. CEMEX in the Conservation of Biodiversity CEMEX Conservation Book Series
    • 5. CEMEX in the Conservation of Biodiversity “ Hands on” Projects. Habitat and Wildlife Restoration Red Wood Forest (California, USA) Campo Santa Maria (Nuevo Leon, Mexico)
    • 6. ©Wyman Meinzer El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative
    • 7. El Carmen – Big Bend , Conservation and Wildlife Corridor El Carmen area of participation
    • 8.
      • El Carmen contributes to sustainable ecosystems and biodiversity conservation.
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Species Richness:
      • 500 Plants Identified
      • 289 Species of Birds
      • 81 Species of Reptiles and Amphibians
      • 78 Species of Mammals
      • 140 Species of Butterflies
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative ©Wyman Meinzer
    • 9. Long-Term Black Bear Study Focused on Population Dynamics, Habitat Selection and Dispersal
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative ©Santiago Gibert
    • 10.
      • 140,000 ha Management Area
      • 30 Year Management Plan Implemented in 2001 .
      • Core components:
      • Protect biodiversity,
      • Recover damaged lands,
      • Restore native wildlife to viable populations.
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      • Long-term Management Plan
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative
    • 11. 10,000 ha of Native Grasslands Restored
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      • Long-term Management Plan
      • Habitat Restoration
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative
    • 12.
      • Six Large Mammal species:
      • Desert Bighorn Sheep
      • Carmen Mtn.Whitetailed Deer
      • Mule deer
      • Elk
      • Pronghorn Antelope
      • Black Bear
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      • Long-term Management Plan
      • Habitat Restoration
      • Wildlife Restoration
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative ©Santiago Gibert
    • 13. BirdLife International and PRONATURA, 2007
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      • Long-term Management Plan
      • Habitat Restoration
      • Wildlife Restoration
      • Conservation Partnerships with NGOs, Governments and neighbors
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative
    • 14. Government Agencies SEMARNAT - Mexico USDA-NRCS - USA 2008
      • Baseline Inventory
      • Scientific Research
      • Long-term Management Plan
      • Habitat Restoration
      • Wildlife Restoration
      • Conservation Partnerships with NGOs, Governments and neighbors
      El Carmen, Transboundary Conservation Initiative
    • 15. El Carmen, Wilderness Journey
    • 16. “ El Carmen Wilderness Presentation” El Carmen, Wilderness Journey
    • 17. “ First Wilderness Designation in Mexico and Latin America” 22,400 ha
      • Commitment to preserve it for future generations
      • First Private Land in Mexico certified as a Wilderness Area by CONANP
      Big Bend National Park Maderas del Carmen Maderas del Carmen, Flora and Fauna Protected Area Wilderness Area El Carmen, Wilderness Journey
    • 18. El Carmen, Wilderness Journey
    • 19. Cañon del Diablo El Carmen, Wilderness Journey
    • 20.
      • To help promote the participation of other corporations in wilderness protection.
      • We invited a key group of corporations in Mexico to attend a CEMEX hosted workshop held at our corporate offices in Monterrey, to discuss about the “ Business case for Protecting Wilderness ”.
      El Carmen, An Expanded Commitment
    • 21.
      • The business case for Wilderness Conservation was presented by recognized experts in wilderness, conservation and ecosystem services value:
        • Vance Martin, The WILD Foundation
        • Exequiel Ezcurra, University of California
        • Adriana Nelly Correa, ITESM
        • Jorge Soberon, University of Kansas
        • Carlos Muñoz, INE
      Corporate Commitment to Wilderness Workshop

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