Our project aims to reduce poverty by forging resilient and more economically diversified communities that will reduce their fuel expenses while contributing to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss, two of the causes that intensify economic and food poverty worldwide. This proposal has a direct link to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly linking to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and is based on implementing specific actions for SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy.
The project addresses the importance of solving the issue of poverty in these communities to contribute to conserving a region that comprises two of the largest Biosphere Reserves in Mexico, the Upper Gulf of California and Colorado River Delta Biosphere Reserve and El Pinacate and Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve, recognized for their biodiversity and ecosystems and for protecting critical breeding, nursery and feeding habitats and various fisheries.
We are experiencing challenging times that require creative and feasible solutions for our daily survival. The Desierto de Altar provides communities with a no-cost highly available solar energy source all year long that can help reduce family expenses and increase and diversify their income.
In the first phase of the project our target communities include Golfo de Santa Clara and Puerto Peñasco, both in Sonora. These two communities were born as small fishing camps, and artisanal fishing is still their main economic activity along with tourism. In 2017, these communities were declared as urban Priority Attention Zones (PAZ) classifying them as Very Highly or Highly Marginalized, or with a High Social Gap by the Mexican Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL). The coastal fishing sector and their families are the most vulnerable in both localities.
This project aims to improve and diversify these communities’ economy by reducing expenses for using fossil and wood fuels and providing added value through the use of solar thermal energy to cook and dehydrate fishery and agricultural products. To achieve this goal we will: i) evaluate the designs of the most effective parabolic solar cookers and dehydrators, ii) train the members of the communities in the use and benefits of solar energy for cooking and dehydration; iii) establish spaces with solar cookers in the town’s common areas and; iv) design a communication strategy to effectively communicate the uses and benefits of solar energy and the progress we make with the project.
The impact we hope to achieve is to put in place a process to reduce poverty by using solar energy to curtail energy dependence and diversify the economic activities of the coastal communities of the Northern Gulf of California. Our project will help improve family income by reducing expenses for fossil and wood fuels while generating a culture of clean energy use and awaken the region’s interest to replicate these activities in other neighboring communities. In addition, we will contribute to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss.
The eight main coastal communities with which we collaborate are Puerto Lobos, Desemboque de Caborca, Ejido Álvaro Obregón, 15 de Septiembre, Ejido Rodolfo Campodónico, Puerto Peñasco, Golfo de Santa Clara, and San Felipe, with a total population of 82,846. These communities are located in two states: Sonora and Baja California, and cover four municipalities: Caborca, Puerto Peñasco, San Luis Río Colorado, and Mexicali.
We will strengthen communities in the Northern Gulf of California with the tools and practices that best enable them to identify problems and self-manage appropriate solutions for the common good.
We will consolidate voluntary citizen networks, trained and certified to monitor biodiversity, and to collaborate in restoring landscapes and protect priority species in the North and Upper Gulf of California.
We will promote and advise the regional and national fisheries sector, so that a third of the annual regional productions of commercial fisheries are produced and marketed following the fisheries improvement project and social responsibility and fair-trade certification models.
We will promote and implement updated environmental education and School of the Sea curricula, professional and specialized courses, and competency certifications with children, youth, producers, local professionals, and tourists, and share lessons learned to scale the impact.
We will expand CEDO’s vision and mission through information and capacity building to disseminate regional biocultural knowledge, generate information through citizen science, and provide environmentally and culturally responsible hands-on experiences in nature..
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