Without a doubt, the involvement and active participation of local communities is invaluable to achieving our mission. Sky Island Alliance staff continually promote appreciation of the great diversity of plants and animals in the Sky Islands, and share enthusiasm for conservation in the region. We employ ingenuity and creative collaboration to overcome the challenging circumstances in the conservation of trans-boundary ecosystems.
The best advocates and spokespeople for regional conservation are the people who live, work and call the region home. They know the importance of resource management and protection, influence local communities, governments and groups, and become the models for implementation of successful strategies. By finding common ground with our partners, we assure the continuity of projects and buy-in from landowners. For this reason SIA strongly considers landowners’ interests and needs in order to secure the long-term success of our strategies and projects. The success of our partners is our success too.
In Mexico, we have made significant progress in conservation thanks to collaboration with a number of private landowners, schools, universities and conservation groups. Since 2007, we have signed many conservation agreements to work collaboratively on conservation, restoration and research in private lands, and federally-managed wildlife refuges and reserves. For instance, in one year, more than 100 students and staff of the Instituto Tecnologico Superior de Cananea participated in restoration projects in Sierra La Esmeralda, Sierra Azul, Sierra Mariquita, the Santa Cruz River and San Pedro River in Sonora, and Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona. They also host and organize educational events and presentations that promote caring for the environment at the local level, sharing results from scientific expeditions, and engaging residents in ongoing projects and field trips.