Droughts, insect infestations, and fires are increasingly common in Mexico’s forests. Communities whose residents manage these forests can develop strategies to protect their forests and ecosystems, which are critical in the fight against climate change. The community forest management strategy can also provide livelihoods and boost economies, experts say. In some Indigenous languages, two words are just not enough to convey everything encompassed by the phrase “climate change.” Alejo López, who speaks one of the varieties of Chinantec that is spoken in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, told Mongabay Latam that he refers to climate change with a longer phrase: “Ni ka li seen ja lee ee lï´ mïï hui´ .” In English, these words mean, “We conserve what we have, and we make good use of our forest, our water and our air.” The Chinantec people living in the Sierra Juárez mountain range in Oaxaca refer to themselves as tsa ju jmí ’, which means “people of the old word.” Their tonal language is mostly spoken, but a few years ago, López began to learn its written form. Community organization and involvement are both keys to facing the infestations that affect trees. Image courtesy of the Union of Zapotec and […]


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