While media attention has largely focused on the impact to Monarch butterflies, illegal deforestation is also having grave effects on the lives of local villagers in Michocan, Mexico, who are fighting against outside logging syndicates to protect their resources and livelihoods.
Indigenous communities are being threatened and coerced by armed logging syndicates, after trying to intervene and stop the logging. This issue is inciting civil unrest and violence. Community leaders are trying to get the attention of Mexican federal and state officials in a desperate attempt to end the cycle of corruption initiated by illegal deforestation. To date, the Mexican government has failed to adequately address these illegal activities or to take action.
ECO-LIFE Foundation has created a website — www.morethanmonarchs.org — to ensure the voices of the local community are heard. Morethanmonarchs.org allows the full story to be told, as it unfolds, without distortion or interference by third parties, and broadcasts the plight of these peoples to the world.
Morethanmonarchs.org captures the stories and accounts of those experiencing the loss of their livelihoods, their forests and the Monarch butterfly. The goal of this website is to allow the people of this region to speak directly to the Mexican government, in order to end the destruction of these precious resources. By supporting these communities’ in protecting their forests, we can help them persuade the Mexican government to support local law enforcement efforts to uphold existing laws protecting the reserve.
Most conservation issues are addressed after it is too late to stop the destruction of environments. While illegal logging has already devastated thousands of acres of forests in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, there is still a chance to salvage this habitat from irreparable damage if we act now to put pressure on the Mexican government. [Bill Toone]