The Committee for Natural Resources of the Chinantla Alta (CORENCHI) certified community territories under the Voluntary Conserved Areas (VCA) scheme – which are legally-recognised Indigenous peoples’ and community conserved territories and areas (ICCAs) – of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Running from April 2009 to March 2012, the Management Programmes for Indigenous Voluntary Conserved Areas in Oaxaca project was designed to enhance Oaxacan indigenous VCAs by strengthening the capacity of indigenous people and collaborating researchers to produce a management programme that incorporates local ecological knowledge and community-based research on the cloud forest ecosystem.

Management programme for VCA

*Photo by David Jimenez

This project was implemented to ensure CORENCHI’s compliance with the scheme’s obligations, through (1) the development of biocultural diversity management programmes for the VCAs, (2) community training for the implementation of these programmes, and (3) outreach and dissemination activities to share this community conservation experience. While the project targeted the six member communities of CORENCHI, most activities were concentrated in the communities of Santiago Tlatepusco and San Pedro Tlatepusco, municipality of Usila, in north Oaxaca, Mexico.


One of the outstanding achievements of the project is the collaborative elaboration of two community-owned territorial management plans, created through joint research carried out with GDF-MA-trained community researchers.


Project Donors

Darwin Initiative, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom (DEFRA)


Project Partners

The Committee for Natural Resources of the Chinantla Alta (CORENCHI)

National Polytechnic Institute’s Interdisciplinary Research Centre for Integrated Regional Development (CIIDIR-Oaxaca)

National Commission of Forestry (CONAFOR)


School of Anthropology and Conservation, University of Kent (UK)