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On the slopes of Mexico's Tacaná volcano coffee growers adjust to new ways

The Mexican volcano Tacaná provides its surroundings with mineral-rich and fertile soil. But with increasingly heavy rains and erosion, local farmers are adopting new practices to preserve the environment.

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Project goal: preserving the ecosystem in the cloud forests and environment around the Tacaná volcano
Implementation: reforestation, protective barriers against soil erosion and flooding, organic farming, building an organic market together with local farmers
Project size: Protective measures and planting trees on an area of around 2,500 hectares, more than 1,600 farmers involved
Project volume: The International Climate Initiative (ICI) supports this project with around 2,5 million euros.

Javier Ramírez, 28, makes the trek up the Tacaná several times a month. It's no easy journey since it involves a steep climb of over 4,000 meters high. The volcano lies in the midst of a UNESCO biosphere. The soil here is especially fertile due to the presence of volcanic ash and just about everything grows here that people need to survive. Many farmers here rely on the sale of coffee to earn an income. Coffee from the highlands is especially strong and aromatic and brings the farmers more money. But in order to protect the environment and the soil around the volcano, the farmers need to change their thinking. Together with the IUCN, the world's largest environment protection organization, they're developing strategies to switch to a more sustainable way of farming.

A film by Vera Freitag

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