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Sustainable watershed habitat management in Mexico's megalopolis

Sustainable watershed habitat management plays an increasingly critical role in terms of global water security. This project combines expertise in UK and Mexican universities/ NGOs with that of in-country stakeholders to determine how endemic grassland and forest can be sustainably managed for  watershed provision in four major urban centres that form a megalopolis in Central Mexico, namely Mexico City, Puebla, Toluca and Cuernavaca. The key research objectives are: 1) Establish the status and trends of both the native grassland/ forest cover (1950´s to present) in terms of distribution and species composition in the 250,000 ha of volcanic montane watershed; 2) Analyse the relationship between changes in this watershed  ecosystem and  hydrological balance, in particular as related to aquifer recharge; 3) Analyse the different management policies and practices carried out by indigenous communities and municipalities,  4) Propose robust guidelines for sustainable long-term native grassland/forest watershed management to promote urban resilience.

Start date: 1 February 2018 | End date: May 2019


UEA Team

Dr Diana Bell (Principal Investigator),

Professor Roger Few (Co-Investigator)

Dr Oscar Alvarez-Macotela (Senior Research Associate)


Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM); Conservation International-Mexico



British Academy (Global Challenges Research Fund Cities and Infrastructure Programme)