On May 30th, 2016, the official presentation of the Mesoamerican Virtual Center of Excellence in Forest Monitoring was held in Mexico City. The Center is an initiative of the Mesoamerican Strategy for Environmental Sustainability (Estrategia Mesoamericana de sustentabilidad Ambiental, EMSA), which is part of the Mesoamerican Integration and Development Project. The center is working in coordination with the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the environment region ministers and the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR).
The opening event was presided over Ms. María Eugenia Casar (Executive Director of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation), Mr. Elvis Rodas (Vice Minister of the Honduran Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines of Honduras*), Mr. Fernando Soto Baquero (Mexican FAO Representative) and Mr. Jorge Rescala Pérez (General Director of Mexico’s National Forestry Commission). Also present were members of the EMSA Liaison Committee (from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic), representatives from the Embassies of Mesoamerican countries, as well as representatives from academia, cooperating agencies and international organizations.
The Mesoamerican Virtual Center of Excellence in forest monitoring is an online platform that offers solutions for knowledge management in four areas. The following table lists these 4 areas and their goals.
|Information Management||To facilitate access to high quality state of the art information in forest monitoring|
|Networking Management||To facilitate and support collaborative online spaces to promote national efforts in forest monitoring|
|Learning Management||To create learning communities for strengthening capacities in forest monitoring|
|Change Management||To provide and manage spaces for dialogue and collaboration between agents of change working in forest monitoring|
The Mesoamerican Virtual Center of Excellence in Forest Monitoring originated in 2010 with a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in Environment, Forests and Climate Change between the Mexican and the Norwegian government’s. The goal of the center is to be the premier resource for the Mesoamerican region in forest monitoring.
*Honduras currently holds the Presidency pro-tempore of EMSA.