We will be visiting a pilot forest carbon offset – REDD+ project in the Maya Forest called Much Kanan K’aax.

Much’ Kanan K’aax
“Much’ Kanan K’aax” is a Mayan expression meaning “together we take care of the jungle,” and it is also the name of a 1,230-hectare ejidal reserve located 6 km west of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site in the heart of the state of Quintana Roo. Much Kanan K’aax contains a great number of plants and animals, and ensures the protection of several endangered species.
Decreed in 2007 by the ejidatarios of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, this unique community reserve is protecting our part of the Maya Forest through an array of conservation, development and reforestation activities.

Forest Carbon Project and REDD+
One of the principal objectives of the community reserve is to protect and regenerate the “lungs” that the Maya Forest represents via reforestation and conservation and, later, the sale of carbon credits on local, national and international markets. Thus, Mayan communities are working to help mitigate climate change, the effects of which Mexico in general and the Yucatan Peninsula in particular have witnessed in recent years.
This “carbon offset” and REDD+ project is the first to be developed in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Local forest owners have created several tools to make this project a success:
• Reforestation using native species, innovative environmental techniques and the inclusion of a monitoring system.
• A management strategy for contingencies to guarantee project “permanence” and to reduce forest risks from fires, diseases and hurricanes, along with the necessary infrastructure to prevent these risks.
• REDD+ initiative in order to protect the remaining jungle of the area.
• Decree of an ejidal reserve with a legal framework that guarantees project permanence.
• Systematization of data generated here so the project can be replicated in other communities.

Síijil No Ha – Magical by Nature
“Síijil No Ha” is a Mayan expression meaning “where the great waters are born” and it is an ecotourism center located in the heart of the ejidal reserve where you can enjoy all of the area’s natural wonders.
The center offers services such as forest exploration along an interpretive trail, an observation tower, and electric boat and kayak trips to explore the lagoons and a cenote (sinkhole). The center also features a restaurant serving local cuisine, and guests can learn about “appropriate technologies” (such as the local prototype of a highly efficient woodstove that reduces firewood consumption) that will make a visit here an unforgettable experience.

Map 1: Localization of the field trip

The Trip

• We will depart from the Botanical Garden of ECOSUR in Puerto Morelos (20 min south of Cancun Messe) at 8:00. It takes 2.5 hours to reach Much’ Kanan K’aax.

• Ejido Reserve leaders and staff from U’yo’ol Che (a local NGO), will be welcoming us and taking us to visit the project.

• We will start with a visit to the reforestation site. Three years ago, the ejido and U’yo’ol Che initiated the reforestation project (assisted regeneration), adding trees grown in a local nursery.

• We will also learn how U’yo’ol Che and the ejido in collaboration with research centers, are establishing plots to measure tree growth, and provide basic data for establishing an alometric equation that will allow to establish specific amounts of carbon stored.

• After visiting the reforestation plot, we will take a short walk through another part of the reserve with mature forest, to give a sense of what the forest looks like in this region, and to learn more about REDD+ vision from local people

• We will then gather in the large “palapa” (hut) by the side of the Siijil No Ha lagoon for a locally prepared lunch, featuring Mayan specialties. Visitors are encouraged to take a refreshing swim in the lagoon, or climb the tower to have a sense of the surroundings.

• We will depart the reserve around 3:00 pm in order to be back at Puerto Morelos and Cancun at 6:00pm.

What to bring

• Light-weight long-sleeved shirts and pants for protecting yourself from the sun and for walking through light brush. If insects like your flavor, pants should be tucked into your socks. While we will not be doing any strenuous hiking, comfortable footwear is essential.
• This is the rainy season, with rains usually falling in the afternoon, so you might want to consider bringing a light rain-jacket.
• Bring a swimming suit and towel if you wish to swim in the lagoon.
• Be sure to bring a pair of sunglasses, sun hat and sunscreen (biodegradable if you are to swim in the lagoon).
• Every participant should bring an adequate supply of insect repellent. We suggest one small squeeze-bottle or one pump-style container of your preferred brand. An application of lotion in the morning in addition to spraying your clothing is recommended.
• Additional spending money as local handicrafts from Kuxtal will be on display.

Registration is open until December 2.
Benefits of the registration fee will be returned to the community beneficiaries involved in the Carbon Capture project.



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