BÓSCARES: The “Forest Oscars” recognises sustainable actions by companies in Mexico

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Mexican companies working towards conserving and restoring the forests of the country were awarded in November at the second edition of the Bóscares Awards – a play on the Spanish word for forests (bosques) and Oscars (referring to the Academy Awards).

The awards are organized by Reforestamos México, a civil society organization working to strengthen sustainable development through expanding and preserving forests, together with the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), Anáhuac University and BIOFIN.

Ernesto Herrera, Director of Reforestamos, said that Los Bóscares is a great platform to highlight the importance of the private sector in safeguarding forests.

“The initiative is providing several solutions to conservation by bringing skills such as innovation, flexibility to collaborate with other sectors, extensive networks and convening power,” he said.

The ceremony awarded companies whose actions and programs were significant to the conservation and restoration of forests in 2018. BIOFIN and Reforestamos reviewed more than 120 companies through their corporate social and environmental responsibility reports. There were eight awards categories and winners:

Forest Communication and Outreach – Winner: Volaris, for its program “Cielito Limpio”, and the making of a documentary called “Serpiente Emplumada”, which highlights the importance of the conservation of forests in Mexico and Central America to the mythical bird of prehispanic cultures: the QuetzalForestry

Culture Promotion – Winner: Biopappel, for the creation of ecological clubs for families (over 4,000 people in 7 states) to engage in environmental activities.

Forestry Entrepreneurship – Winner: Alliance Telmex-WWF, for driving sustainable and productive forestry activities in the Biosphere Reserve of the Monarch Butterfly

Urban Forests – Winner: HSBC, for the support in the restoration of the Chapultepec Forest and the initiative of the ‘Plan to Restore the Second Section of the Forest’.

Forest Conservation – Winner: CEMEX, for the actions towards fire prevention in forests in the Natural Reserve El Carmen, conserving the 140,000 ha landscape.

Contribution to Forest Restoration – Winner: Neek’ Capital, for the support given to deforestation-free meat producers, and the greening of over 110 ha in Yucatán.

Sustainable Forest Management Promotion – Winner: MASISA, for innovation in wood supply by including suppliers from communities and small and medium forestry companies.

Zero Deforestation Supply Chains – Winner: Grupo BIMBO, Nestlé México and Oleofinos, for the creation of alliances with different actors to face deforestation challenges in the southeast region of the country.   

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Daniela Torres, BIOFIN Mexico’s National Coordinator said that it is important to recognize that private sector actions can propel social benefits, particularly to landowners and local communities around Mexico.

“In order to achieve the SDGs, the involvement and investments of the private sector are crucial. In that sense, the awarded companies contribute not only to forestry ecosystems, but to several social and environmental objectives of the 2030 Agenda,” she said.

BIOFIN Mexico is working on several finance solutions, including the Bio-economy – a strategy for boosting productive companies and projects that have a positive impact on biodiversity, as a tool to increase the finance for sustainable use of biodiversity, and the collaboration between the communities and the private sector, investors and financial intermediaries.

The strategy has three components, the first one being an Acceleration Fund, that will be operational in the first quarter of 2020, and will co-finance projects and companies that need a specific element to trigger their growth; the second part is an online platform for bio-investments, which will be available in the second quarter of 2020, and is a marketplace for biodiversity productive projects and investors, thus eliminating intermediaries and providing reliable information for investors to make decisions; and the third part is the strengthening of the UMA strategy (unit management for the conservation and sustainable use of wildlife), which will propel the sustainable, traceable and legal commerce of species, tapping this unexplored market.