Francisco Chapela


Francisco Chapela

Program Officer, Northwest Mexico

Francisco Chapela is the Program Officer for Northwest Mexico at The Christensen Fund, supporting innovative Indigenous and local communities of farmers and pastoralists, ranchers and fishers from the Sonoran desert to the Sierra Tarahumara (Rarámuri).

Francisco has worked throughout Mexico and Latin America at the intersection of biological and cultural diversity with a particular focus on leveraging traditional knowledge in collaboration with communities for forest conservation. He has collaborated with a variety of local and multilateral institutions including regional indigenous organizations, the Rainforest Alliance and the World Bank, and played a lead role in implementing the Communities and Indigenous Biodiversity Conservation Project for the states of Guerrero, Michoacan and Oaxaca. He has worked closely with indigenous communities to recover their rights to access their forests and to employ their biological and cultural heritage to create both economic and ecological resilience. Throughout his career Francisco has focused on increasing local capacities in hand with communities and his work with Christensen builds on this foundation.

Francisco completed his PhD in Economics of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He also holds an M.S. in Environment and Development Studies and an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Engineering. He has been involved with several professional associations including the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF), Estudios Rurales y Asesoría (ERA), the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) and the IUCN Strategic Direction on Governance, Communities, Equity and Livelihoods in relation to Protected Areas (TILCEPA). His publications include:

  • Hodgdon, Benjamin; Chapela, Francisco; Bray, David and Fernandez, Eugenio. 2013. Community forestry in Mexico. Rainforest Alliance.
  • Chapela, Francisco. 2012. Evaluación del impacto del cobro por derechos de aprovechamiento de madera en pie y otras tasas sobre el manejo forestal en México. Programa de Cooperación FAO/Banco Mundial, 2012.
  • Chapela, Francisco. 2008. El resguardo comunal de la biodiversidad, en: Nacional Financiera, S.N.C. “Comunidades, Indígenas y Biodiversidad; estableciendo áreas comunales de resguardo para la biodiversidad; memoria del Proyecto deConservación de la Biodiversidad por Comunidades e Indígenas de Guerrero, Michoacán y Oaxaca, México 2001 – 2007.
  • Chapela, Francisco. 2008. Sociedad civil y medio ambiente: Bases para una política eficaz. Población y Ambiente, Año 8 Número 23: 27-31. Septiembre-Diciembre/2008.

When not working, Francisco reads and enjoys music, hiking and biking. He lives in Oaxaca and Mexico City with his wife.


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