A handbook designed to help local communities restore vital but degraded coastal dune ecosystems in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and a second manual on the sustainable development of commercial timber plantations in dune systems, have been published by Mexico’s Institute of Ecology (INECOL) as part of an ITTO-supported project.
The coastal dunes in Veracruz perform important environmental functions, such as protecting communities and farmland from storm surges and providing water filtration services. But an estimated 85% of the dune systems in the state are degraded and in urgent need of restoration.
To help in such restoration, ITTO funded a project titled Environmental assessment and economic valuation of ecosystem services provided by coastal forests in Veracruz, Mexico
in 2012. The project has now released two illustrated publications that provide simple, practical techniques for dune restoration, reforestation and enrichment:
- Técnicas, mañas y prácticas para recuperar y cuidar los árboles y el monte en los médanos de Veracruz (“Techniques, tricks and practices to restore and maintain trees and woodland in the dunes of Veracruz”) (available in Spanish only) describes techniques for attracting birds, bats, insects and other wildlife that carry the seeds of trees and other plants to cleared dunes, thereby helping in the natural regeneration of those areas, providing connectivity between habitats, and restoring environmental functions. Techniques include providing perches for birds and bats; the use of nets for collecting wind-borne seeds; and methods for attracting native mammals to restored areas.
- Reforestación y enriquecimiento de especies arbóreas en los médanos: guía práctica (“Practical guide to the reforestation and enrichment planting of dunes”) (available in Spanish only) compiles research results and the knowledge of local forest communities to help in reforesting dunes or enriching existing dune forests, thereby protecting the ecological functions of the dune systems while generating income.
The project has also produced other promotional material, such as a calendar
for 2016–2017 illustrating the various types of coastal forests in Veracruz.