Coca-Cola and its partners in Mexico have worked together to plant millions of trees and improve water harvesting, creating what ranks as the most important eco restoration project in the world.

This strong praise for the eight-year-old project – called the National Program for Reforestation and Water Harvesting – comes from a prominent environmentalist and researcher in Mexico, Prof. Ernesto C. Enkerlin Hoeflich of the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. Enkerlin is also president of the World Commission of Protected Natural Areas.

“The project is benefiting over a thousand communities as millions of trees are planted, water is harvested and other direct and indirect benefits are gained,” Enkerlin said in a recent independent analysis of the project. “It is also one of the few programs that performs multi-year maintenance to its reforestation acres to ensure success in the medium and long term.”

Mexico Reforestation

The program launched in 2007 to contribute to Coca-Cola’s goal of replenishing 100 percent of the water used in the company’s products. Coca-Cola achieved that goal last year in Mexico. It is sponsored by the Coca-Cola system in Mexico, along with the country’s National Forestry Commission, the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas and the environmental group Pronatura.

Mexico Reforestation

"The National Program for Reforestation and Water Harvesting is unique in the world,” said Adolfo Alaniz, director of Pronatura Mexico. “The work of ecological restoration and recovery of forests through reforestation and ongoing maintenance, with the participation of communities and the support of Coca-Cola and government authorities, has generated significant benefits for the communities involved.”

By the end of this year, the program will be responsible for planting 70 million trees over its eight-year history.

Mexico Reforestation 1 604

"We are very proud of what we have achieved with this project, building a platform for environmental restoration that maintains and replenishes important resources such as forests and water in our country, and at the same time, establishes a unique relationship with participating communities," said Vivian Alegria, director of community affairs for the Coca-Cola Foundation in Mexico. "Of course, we are very grateful with our great allies and communities in the country, because without them we could not have come this far."

Reforestation in watersheds is critical because it contributes to the absorption of water in the soil and the replenishment of springs, rivers and lakes.