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For the last 100 million years, Sea Turtles have traveled the oceans of our Earth. With the purchase of a Ritos del Sol product, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Selva Negra Foundation to help us protect this fundamental link in the marine ecosystem.

WHO ARE WE?

Selva Negra is a non-profit civil association founded January 26th, 1996, by the members of the band Maná. Selva Negra has been focusing specifically on the preservation and protection of endangered animals, as well as environmental protection and education, participating in projects that also seek to work within communities.

BOARD

CHAIRMAN

Fher Olvera Sierra

BOARD

Alex González Trujillo

Sergio Vallín Loera

Juan Calleros Ramos

Ulises Calleros Ramos

ADMINISTRATOR

Javier Hernández Valenzuela

COORDINATOR

Beatriz Vera

DIRECTOR

José Antonio Márquez Michel

EVERYONE’S JOB

We’re convinced that environmental conservation is the job of each and every human being. With the right education people can adopt habits that permit and promote sustainable living. As we live consciously and responsibly, we become role-models who lead by example. When we participate in the communal conversation, we become part of the very spirit of Selva Negra.

Projects

Sea Turtles

They are all in danger of extinction.

Sea Turtles represent a bridge between life as we know it today and as it was in the distant past: they are among the oldest living inhabitants of our planet, having survived for 200 million years, through all of the natural disasters and physical changes that the planet has gone through, changes that not even the dinosaurs could overcome. Unfortunately, they’ve been unable to survive the predatory behaviors of humans.

México is in first place in the world for the arrival, nesting, feeding, and growth of sea turtles. Seven out of the existing eight species of marine turtles inhabit Mexico’s beaches: the Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), the Galápagos green turtle (Chelonia agazzisi), the Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), the Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), the Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys Kempii).

In May of 1990, the Mexican government established a total ban on the capture and sales of sea turtles in all corresponding waters, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of California. Thus it become illegal to remove, capture, bother, or harm any specie or sub-specie of marine turtle, this includes collecting or interacting with turtle eggs. In the 14 years that Salva Negra has participated in rescuing marine turtles, over 3 million baby turtles have made it to sea. These turtles have become the emblem of Selva Negra’s efforts. We have worked alongside The National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), The National Mexican Turtle Center, The University of Guadalajara, The Fundación Telefónica, and three different sites that focus on the care and protection of these turtles and their environments (Platanitos, Tepic, Nayarit. San Blas, Tepic, Nayarit. Plamarito, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca).

Vegetables

Every member of Maná is a voluntary ambassador of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations). In 2003, Maná-Selva Negra contributed a donation to the FAO in Washington D.C. helping to concretize The Growing Connection: Familiar vegatables, a project proposing an alternative plant growing system to save water and maximize growth. A project ran primarily by women, The Growing Connection not only provides fresh, chemical-free food, but empowers vulnerable communities and helps to stimulate domestic economies.

This project has been implemented in countries such as Ghana, Haiti, The United States, Nicaragua, and México. In Mexico, focus has been placed in the four communities of coastal Oaxaca, the Huichol Sierra Madre range and Tuxpan, both in Jalisco. Thanks to the collaboration between Selva Negra and The University of Guadalajara, investigators and students, and of course to all the families who participated, who committed themselves to learning, to taking advantage of resources and sharing their knowledge. The Huichol Sierras: Haitmatisie, Tenzompa y Hakaretsie (Jalisco) Tuxpan (Jalisco) Escobilla (Oaxaca) Río Seco (Oaxaca) Agua Dulce (Oaxaca) Yerba Santa (Oaxaca) as part of the program that they have with the FAO and the University of Guadalajara, specifically The Center of Agricultural Biological Sciences ( CUCBA ), provided us with enough course material to train 20 families in The Growing Connection: familiar vegetables’s methods. The families who participated in this training learned to grow their own food using this new method that not only provided enough healthy food for daily consumption, but saved 80% of the water used in traditional methods

Environmental Education

Direct, lead, teach. This is the dictionary definition of “educate”, and this is how Selva Negra has conceived our educative program, which seeks to reestablish our relationship with nature.

It’s not unreasonable to blame ignorance for a lot of the ecological catastrophe that has occurred in nature. Not knowing the hard sciences ( biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics) has left us inept to properly defend the environment as it should be defended.

That’s true, however, we want to focus on our attitudes and how we understand ourselves in our surroundings and ourselves as a society. Beginning from this perspective, we can use science and technology as tools to improve the quality of our lives and the planet, instead of academic subjects to be tested on. Our goal for education is to point to a new common destination, to set a course, to share common traits that we all have. This is the direction that we began to implement four years ago with teachers.

Ecological Land Management

Development in México generally aids one group or community in an exclusive manner, leaving other groups behind. The culture of prioritizing economic growth usually harms the originally existing communities, communities which represent cultures worth preserving.

This is why the notion of ecological land management, as established in federal and state laws, is so necessary. It can be a tool to reach healthy compromises between capitalist developers and pre-existing communities, so that the interests of all involved parties, with consideration to the environment, can be satisfied. As part of our environmental initiative, Selva Negra has been working with three municipalities on the Oaxacan coast for a year and a half.

Wood-saving stoves

Wood-saving stoves are a smart solution by which to minimize the effort and risk normally associated with traditional fire-based cooking methods. They not only reduce health risks to the families using them, but reduce the environmental costs to the forests which are the source of wood.

In marginalized indigenous and rural communities, there is no better known or more relevant method by which to cook, as other options such as gas or electric are simply not accessible for reasons of economic limitation or cultural tradition.

Consumption of firewood is reduced by 30 to 50% when using wood-saving stoves. Other improvements include: a lowered risk of smoke-induced health problems, less time bent over an open flame resulting in less back damage, and food being cooked using less energy and time invested. This project would be implemented using federal resources, as authorized by SEDESOL (The Secretariat of Social Development).

Music school

For many years, the human inhabitants of an environment (especially deteriorated environments) were not considered within the terms of environmental protection policy. The modus operandi was to focus exclusively on the flora and fauna, bodies of water, rivers, etc. Fortunately, these unsuccessful positions in environmental policy have helped to quickly usher in a new approach that also includes the people living in the environments, attempting to understand their habits, their cultures, and their needs.

For Selva Negra to be able to collaborate with a community through music produces exactly the kind of change we seek. A musical education has an intimate impact on a people’s attitudes toward themselves, their community, and the habitat in which they are immersed. Giving new life to a music school located at the most important beach in the world for the Olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), represents an act of solidarity and allows us the possibility to amplify social and ecological dialogue.

COP 16

México will host the COP 16 climate change reunion.

For Selva Negra, along with the rest of the world, this is a central theme which not only puts ecological equilibrium into focus, but economic-inspired processes that humans have privileged until now: profit over all else and the failure to recognize the legacy that we pass on to future generations, not only in terms of the environment, but also social and cultural implications.

It is a priority that the emissions of greenhouse gasses be reduced significantly in all human activities, from typical domestic actions to large commercial application to the generation of electrical energy and industry. The agreements and changes that committees like COP 16 pursue are vital. History is constant recount of wars, massacres and ecological devastation, inside of which summit meetings and diplomacy only seem to play a decorative role. Regardless of this, its necessary to maintain pressure on the system, shining light into the darkest corners of public administration. As such Selva Negra will reports on what happens in Cancún. Arturo Balderas, with whom we are preparing a project on global warming, will be there as our eyes and ears, and will transmit the pulse of what is seen and perceived. Arturo Balderas Torres Tapatío, who is concerned with environmental issues, is a reporter with a background in environmental economics, climate change, and sustainable development. He will be present at the COP 16 as a delegation member of the University of Twente (The Netherlands) where his principal interest will be to continue negotiations surrounding REDD+ and the post-2012 Kyoto Protocol.

Reforestation

The municipality of Santa María Tonameca is located in the southern part of the state of Oaxaca, forming part of the Pochutla District in the coastal region. It is situated at the coordinates of 15°45' latitude north y 96°33' longitude west. This municipality covers a territory of 541.28 km2, equivalent to 54,128 hectares. According to the data presented by the Population and Housing Census in 2005, there are 22,222 inhabitants living in the municipality and asserting pressure on the available natural resources.

The territory of Santa María Tonameca is very diverse both biologically and physiographically, containing a great wealth of natural resources. Nevertheless, its story represents important ecological and socioeconomic contrasts which have nothing but sharpened in recent years. There are ample possibilities to improve the living conditions of its inhabitants, but the risks social inequity and environmental deterioration are worsening over time. Facing this reality, the Tonameca population has promoted diverse studies to address the environmental problems being confronted, highlighting the Study of Ecological Zoning of the coastal region in 1996, and Study of Local Land Management that the municipality is carrying out (in which Selva Negra and Grupo Mesófilio are participating, among others).

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