Since 2011, the APEAM reforestation program has planted more than 2.2 million trees in Michoacán, Mexico, helping to mitigate the effects of unsustainable logging practices and restoring the area’s natural ecosystems and biodiversity.
Over the last two decades, the natural ecology within the Mexican state of Michoacán has fallen under the threat of deforestation. As neighbors of this threatened ecosystem and as stewards of the environment, the Association of Avocado Exporting Producers and Packers of Mexico (APEAM) has shouldered the responsibility of giving back to the land and preserving the ecological treasures that characterize the region.
More than 50% of the avocado producing regions in Michoacán (nearly 1.5 million acres) are covered by natural forests, jungles, and bodies of water. To support the local ecosystem, APEAM launched a reforestation initiative in 2011. Their efforts intend to mitigate the negative effects of unsustainable and illegal logging and to protect the diverse ecosystems existing within Michoacán. Over the last decade, APEAM has sown more than 2.2 million plants in an area larger than 4,250 American football fields. The program boasts an impressively high plant survival rate of 85%.
To ensure this high survival rate, saplings are cultivated in nurseries before finding their home in the wild, where they are selectively planted with elevation and location in mind. The trees planted are a variety of different species native to the area, allowing the program to encourage and preserve the vast biodiversity found in Michoacán forests.
The plants sown by APEAM enjoy an impressive 85% survival rate.
APEAM has also made strides against deforestation by calling for stricter enforcement of penalties for those caught illegally clearing forests. Working with the Mexican government to more closely regulate logging, the association has been able to discourage and slow the decimation of Michoacán forests. By taking a legal stand while also restoring more than 4,250 acres to date, APEAM has gained back precious ground in safeguarding the beauty and integrity of the area’s natural environment.
APEAM contributed 372,000 plants to Michoacán’s forests in 2021.
Steeped in a philosophy of good stewardship, APEAM has recognized that fostering natural habitat goes hand in hand with maintaining sustainable farming. Caring for the environment surrounding avocado farmland will have a great and lasting effect for the avocado groves themselves. As APEAM works to preserve the forests of Michoacán, the balanced ecosystem will ensure better soil and air quality, less erosion, and a healthier, stabler water table.
Though there is still plenty of work to be done, APEAM’s green thumb is committed to the task, and continues to expand its reach. The association plans to restore another 1.6 million trees to Michoacán by 2025.
The concerted efforts by APEAM have one clear focus: to rejuvenate the land that plants, animals, farmers, their families, and all of us depend on.
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