The Scolel'te Program works with an agroforestry system that promotes improved coffee plantations. This system contributes to species diversification, since within a plot of coffee, timber trees of commercial value are used or are used by the communities (for sale or self-consumption) and contribute to provide the necessary shade to the development of coffee plantations.
In addition to the multiple environmental and social benefits of promoting and preserving these areas, participating families receive financial resources for the sales of carbon credits in the Voluntary Market. Currently there are more than 145 hectares registered in the Tropical Coffee Timber System within the Scolel'te Program.
The cultivation of coffee is one of the productive pillars for families in Chiapas and for the state economy. One of the work areas of the Program that employs coffee farming is the Sierra Madre Zone. There, almost 17% of Mexican coffee and 49% of Chiapas are produced (Technical Opinion of the National System of Coffee Research). In this area there have been different atypical affectations, among them, the incidence of rust (coffee plague), which, according to the reports of the producers, has reached up to 90% of the production.
One of the strategies used to address this problem has been the shift towards varieties of low coffee (small plants) with genetic tolerance to rust. However, given the low need for shade of these varieties, the change in forest land use was reported for the cultivation of coffee plantations of this variety, which has put at risk the natural forest cover of the area.
To address this risk, the Triunfo Technical Sub-Board, of which AMBIO is a member in this specialized group, made a Technical Opinion regarding the promotion of Coffee Cultivation in the Protected Natural Areas (ANPs), which are located in the Sierra Madre of Chiapas . The opinion recommends different types of coffee according to the sustainable management of the ANPs.
This opinion seeks to become a normative reference and public policy instrument for all government bodies, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the Secretary of Farming in Chiapas, as well as other actors that promote coffee-growing in the ANPS of the Sierra Madre.