In Central Mexico, women in rural communities invest four hours a day cooking the family meals. Four hours indoors with an unvented fire means the equivalent of smoking 5-7 packages of cigarettes a day. The use of the Patsari fuel-efficient stoves decreases deaths and injuries caused by open fires by 40% or more.
ECOLIFE® protects the over-wintering sites in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Region of Central México. Every tree planted or conserved provides over-wintering habitat for 25,000 monarch butterflies.
Our work reduces the cutting of trees by as much as 70% and the trees we plant will provide for future generations.
Monarch Butterfly Program
Increasing Wildlife Through Forest Conservation
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ECOLIFE® has implemented a community-based conservation project that protects monarch butterfly habitat and directly improves the quality of life for communities within and surrounding Central México’s Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (MBBR). Since 2004, ECOLIFE® has been building fuel-efficient Patsari stoves and planting trees in the communities in and around the butterfly forests. Over 500 stoves have been installed and over 30,000 trees have been planted.
Every year hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies arrive in the ancient Oyamel fir forests of the Sierra Madres in Central Mexico, having traveled as far as 3,000 miles. The monarch butterfly has called the ancient Oyamel forest home for tens of thousands of years.The monarch butterflies color the trees orange and the collective weight of literally tons of butterflies bow the branches.
In the spring, these butterflies begin an eight-month migration that takes them all the way to Eastern Canada and back, during which time four successive generations are born and die. How they find their way back to their overwintering site remains a mystery.
In 1976, National Geographic revealed the location of the monarch butterflies’ over-wintering site in Mexico. This brought the only insect migration of its kind, an astounding wildlife spectacle, to the forefront of world news. Sadly, since the discovery of this amazing collection of butterflies, the numbers have been trimmed by as much as 75% due to the destruction of their ancient forest home.
On a single day in 2001 an estimated quarter of a billion Eastern monarch butterflies, one third of the entire population, froze to death as a result of ongoing deforestation of the Oyamel fir forests in Michoacán, Central Mexico. Every year 1.3 million women and children die due to chronic smoke inhalation from open cooking fires. These two tragedies, while on the surface seeming far apart, are actually closely intertwined and preventable. If the indigenous population living around the butterfly sanctuaries were able to use more efficient wood-burning stoves for cooking and heating, there would be a significant reduction in the deforestation of the trees on which the monarch butterflies depend, and fewer smoke-related illnesses and deaths.
Thank you to our generous funders for donating funds to build 200 stoves and to plant over 10,000 trees to reforest the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.
How Can I Help?
For every dollar, ECOLIFE® plants and maintains a tree. These trees provide an alternative fuel and timber source for the indigenous people, while allowing the Oyamel forests to remain intact. With every $100 donation, ECOLIFE® builds and installs a highly efficient wood burning Patsari stove for use in the homes of the Ejido communities. With every $250 donation, ECOLIFE® builds and installs a highly efficient wood burning Patsari stove, plants 40 trees, and enters the stove into our health and monitoring program. Planting milkweed in your own garden can also help traveling monarch butterflies as they migrate from Canada to Mexico every year.