We are a nonprofit citizen organization working to achieve conservation of wetlands through the balance between development and protection of the environment, for the benefit of present and future generations. We are located in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, and we work mainly in the northwest zone of Mexico.
Promote and establish a system of preserved wetlands in northwestern Mexico, lead by local communities through schemes that allow the continuity of the ecological processes and environmental services provided by these ecosystems, for the benefit of present and future generations.
Consolidate a system of preserved wetlands in northwestern Mexico.
We are an organization with firm convictions and we distinguish ourselves by establishing long-term relationships and commitments with the communities that use the wetlands, most of them residents of rural or marginalized areas, so inclusion, prudence, integrity, solidarity and perseverance have been the cornerstone of our work.
Conservation of the wetlands of northwest Mexico and an effective operation.
To have the necessary information on the wetlands of the region, in order to support and direct management strategies, environmental education and community strengthening to ensure the perpetuity of ecological processes, as well as the integrated management of the wetlands of the northwest of Mexico.
Support the communities and authorities of the three levels of government, promoting the implementation of various instruments to protect wetlands in the Northwest of Mexico, as well as an integrated management of them.
That communities know about information about wetlands in the region, their relationship with their environment, and how they influence the quality of life through environmental education projects and activities, the generation of educational materials and the Participation and / or organization of public events with this theme.
Strengthening communities living in and around wetlands, promoting, facilitating and supporting their participation with different social sectors and organized groups in the conservation and protection of coastal wetlands, in coordination with the three levels of government.
Develop institutional capacities to achieve our vision and mission.
En Ensenada, Baja California
Pro Esteros started in 1988 as a response to the effects of Estero de Punta Banda, located 45 kilometers south of the city of Ensenada, Baja California, which for many years had been considered – by students and researchers on both sides of the border – a natural laboratory on the proper functioning of this type of ecosystem, due to its good state of conservation. We started as a binational group, with two boards, one registered in the United States (USA) and another in Mexico. It is noteworthy that by that date only the state of California had transformed 90% of the coastal wetlands, which represented a great loss in biodiversity and natural resources, whereas most of the wetlands of the peninsula of Baja California were in state Semi-pristian, generally by their isolated location.
Our first projects were research, through which we study in depth the wetlands of Punta Banda and San Quintín. When we began the procedures to have some kind of protection, mainly at the federal level, we noticed the great lack of knowledge about these ecosystems, their ecology, the relevance of their functions and, above all, the multiple benefits that And not only was the community at large the one that did not know much about wetlands, but the authorities, which had a direct impact on decision-making.
Research and dissemination of science
From this situation we decided that the results of our research should be translated into everyday language, to be disseminated to the general public: we were ready to develop our first environmental education project, and since then we have strived to meet the needs and requests of Information for teachers about both wetland flora and fauna and local ecosystems, since the books they commonly used dealt with Mexico in general, and most of the examples were from remote sites and had no connection with our environment.
Thus, to this date we continue to develop programs and educational materials for students from pre-school to high school, and for the general public, so we have a rich and wide range of activities and environmental education materials, such as courses, workshops, Field trips, photo exhibitions, bulletins, posters, among others.
Active coordination in community and environmental development
After several years of exploring the region’s wetlands and carrying out environmental education activities in the surrounding communities, these communities have improved and deepened their knowledge of the processes that these ecosystems harbor, as well as the environmental services they provide. As a result of this work, wetland users or beneficiaries have been able to identify the threat posed by plans and projects promoted by people from outside of their community, such as marinas, golf courses and industrial developments, which would have devastating effects For ecological processes, and in response to the many calls for help we receive from fishermen, housewives, teachers, students, etc., we established a coordination of community strengthening.
Through this coordination we offer the communities that are interested the knowledge and tools to inform themselves – through the appropriate channels – of the development plans for the areas they inhabit, and to jointly analyze the situation and act accordingly: we support them to be Co-responsible for decisions on the natural resources of their territory and, therefore, to be protagonists of their own development.
Coastal wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet: in addition to providing shelter and food for many species of flora and fauna, they also benefit people living close to or dependent on them. However, globally these are disappearing. In the last 40 years, the area of wetlands has been reduced by 30% so their care, conservation and rational use is imperative.
With this in mind, at Pro Esteros we carry out research projects to acquire scientific bases to guide the conservation and sustainable management of wetlands, and transform that integral knowledge into environmental education projects, to share this information with the user communities and beneficiaries of Wetlands, which allows us to establish long-term relationships with them and to encourage them to be strengthened and participate in the analysis and decision-making about the best use of them, through adequate management.
1. WWF. 2016. Informe Planeta Vivo 2016. Riesgo y resiliencia en el Antropoceno. WWW International, Gland, Suiza