Located in eastern Chiapas State, the Lacandon Forest is the largest reserve of rainforest in the region and one of the significant ecological areas of Mexico and Mesoamerica. It contains the greatest biodiversity in the tropics, Mexico, and North America.
Since 2008 and as part of an agreement, UANL has collaborated with the nonprofit organization Natura and Mexican Ecosystems (NATURA) in the program ‘Preservation and Sustainable Development of the Lacandon Forest’, which was initially implemented 25 years ago. NATURA is operated by renowned specialists of natural environment study and preservation.
The joint effort make up by Natura y Ecosistemas Mexicanos, A.C. (NATURA), a non-profit civil organization and UANL, allows to protect more than 320,000 hectare of tropical rainforest known as Lacandona Forest, one of the most important ecological areas of Mexico and Mesoamerica, where is found the largest and best preserved forest massif area, where are stored 29 million tons of CO2 equivalent to more than 106 million tons of CO2, so more than 77 million tons of oxygen are released into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the Lacandon Forest is considered a global hotspot of great biodiversity because it holds 28.4 percent of the Mexican mammal species, 31.8 percent of birds, 11.7 percent of reptiles, 8.8 percent of amphibians, and 14.4 percent of the existing fresh water fish. Therefore, the preservation actions by NATURA and UANL are critical to protect the vast flora and fauna of this remarkable natural environment.
Highly preservative rainforests are called ‘water factories’, playing a strategic role in the survival of living beings. The Lacandon Forest is located in the Grijalva-Usumacinta hydrological region, the largest water factory of Mexico and the seventh largest worldwide, with an extension of 11,500,700 hectares and a mean annual runoff of 85 billion cubic meters, which is 30 percent of the total surface water resources in the country.
The program of conservation and sustainable development of the Lacandona Forest is considered a program of strategic importance, because it contributes significantly to reduce the effects caused by Climate Change, not only at a National level, but at a world level.