The State Party considers that illegal logging, although present within the property, is decreasing and that effective strategies are being implemented to counter this threat. Several government agencies coordinate anti-logging activities within the property. The budget for these activities was approximately USD 238,000 in 2008, and the State Party estimates that it could reach USD 2 million per year in 2009. Several timber control posts have been operational since 2004, anti-logging patrols are undertaken within the property, transport to and from the property is regulated, timber storage sites and timber mills are controlled, and two seizures of illegal timber took place during the course of 2008.
Community surveillance of illegal logging activities and forest fires supports the conservation and protection of the core and buffer zones of the property. These activities are led by local Environmental Surveillance Committees and covered 21,255 ha in 2008, including 4,681 ha within the core zone of the property. The State Party reports that the Mexican Fund for Nature Conservation also provided MXP 1,615,595 (approximately USD 129,092 ) for the implementation of two additional Participatory Surveillance Committees during 2009-2010. Additional forest management issues are discussed, including reforestation (13,191 ha had undergone reforestation as of 2008, representing approximately 23% of the property), pest control treatments, management of a disease causing the ‘drying out’ of trees, and the impacts of strong storms that occurred in October 2008.
The State Party also recalls that the Monarch Fund has implemented a landowner compensation scheme for the core zones of the property. The Fund compensated landowners that had active timber harvesting permits and no longer made use of them. Between 2000 and 2008, direct payments were made to 32 landowners, representing MXP 22,757,000 million (approximately USD 1.82 million). Moreover, between 2003 and 2008, the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) provided payment for hydrological environmental services of MXP 3,898,857 (approximately USD 311,900) to local communities, which were linked to maintenance of forest cover.
The World Heritage Centre and IUCN note that the State Party has attributed a considerable budget to anti-logging activities, and commends the agencies involved for taking a participatory approach to surveillance. They further note that several additional sources of funding directly and indirectly contribute to activities aimed at maintaining forest cover within the property. IUCN recalls that at the time of inscription in 2008, illegal logging was the main direct threat to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve and at sufficient levels that IUCN
recommended deferral of communities involved, 479
inscription. were logged
the efforts of the agencies and 2003 and 2005. While the State
official reports. observed illegal
IUCN notes logging in the
that during this time it has property. As the State Party
received a range of report acknowledges
reports of that illegal
logging is and IUCN
still taking place, consider that this
whilst the trend may issue clearly remains
be decreasing, the World Heritage a critical threat to the property.
Tourism impacts and community development
The State Party reports that MXP 29 million (approximately USD 2,316,180) is being invested in creating and strengthening ecotourism and community development projects, with the support of the Program on Conservation for Sustainable Development (Programa de Conservación para el Desarrollo Sostenible - PROCODES), the Temporary Employment Program (Programe para el Empleo Temporal - PET), and other investors. A Programme of Public Use and a Tourism Programme for Sustainable Development are currently active within the property. The first programme covers control and mitigation of negative tourism impacts, and the second programme aims to provide alternative livelihoods to local communities. The State Party indicates that it is attempting to minimise some of the negative
State of conservation of World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List
WHC-10/34.COM/7B.Add, p. 67