Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

In this section you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Niparajá:

What is Niparajá?

Founded in 1990, the Natural History Society Niparajá CA is a non-governmental non-profit civil association dedicated to the natural conservation and sustainable development of the region. Niparajá was created by Baja California Sur residents who believe that environmental challenges are best solved by the active participation of well-informed citizens. Today, the organization has grown in size and impact, but our mission remains unchanged. Niparajá envisions Baja California Sur as a leading example of successful conservation with an informed, engaged society.

How is Niparajá managed and staffed?

Niparajá has 25 full-time staff members guided by a Board of Directors that oversees the function and transparency of the organization. Board members are responsible for meeting Niparajá’s goals, maintaining transparency in its work, establishing continuity among its programs and guarantee it is managed by a professional and committed staff. In addition, a wide range of experts, partners and consultants support us in our actions.

Where does Niparajá get its funding?

Major funding for Niparajá’s programs comes from fifteen national and international foundations interested in conservation and sustainable development. We also receive funds from different agencies of the Mexican government . The investment of funds in national and international social programs and environmental conservation is growing rapidly in response to an increasingly globalized, interdependent and interconnected world.

How does Niparajá decide where to work?

Niparajá’ s mission is to conserve the natural heritage of Baja California Sur and promote sustainable development. Niparajá’s strategy is the product of a collaborative effort of the staff, the Board, partners and allies with whom we share similar goals.

What are Niparajá’s program areas?

We have four conservation programs: Land Conservation, Marine Conservation, Sustainable Fisheries, and Urban Water Conservation. Niparajá is focused on three major goals: 1) Implement appropriate and effective conservation tools, 2) Promote a society that uses its natural resources responsibly, 3) Develop effective models of conservation that can be shared and replicated.

Where does Niparajá work?

We work in several sites along Baja California Sur, among which are the following: the mountains called Sierras La Giganta and Guadalupe, the Coastal Corridor between Loreto-La Paz, the National Park Marine Zone Archipelago of Espiritu Santo, the Flora and Fauna Protected Area of Balandra, the Basin serving the City of La Paz, the Biosphere Reserve of Sierra la Laguna, and Cabo Pulmo National Park.

Is Niparajá against all development?

Niparajá supports thoughtful, sustainable development. When necessary Niparajá will defend the public’s natural heritage from threats caused by poor planning, over-development or reckless exploitation of natural resources. Niparajá recognizes that economic growth is vital for the quality of life in BCS. Niparajá supports development or land use that prioritizes environmental and social criteria for the public good. Niparajá opposes development that would irreversibly damage our water resources or the integrity of a Natural Protected Area. In all cases, solid scientific data and legal precedent underpin our actions.

Why does Niparajá buy land and how much land does Niparajá own?

Buying land from willing sellers is one of our strategies to promote land conservation. The purchase of private lands has proved useful in Mexico and throughout the world to preserve plant and wildlife habitat or endangered ecosystems. Niparajá currently owns 7,298 hectares along the coastal corridor between Loreto and La Paz, collectively called the El Portezuelo Natural Reserve. All lands are certified by the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) for conservation. All of Niparajá’s land purchase contracts clearly state in strong written language that no activity can occur inconsistent to the land’s preservation or ever be sold to a private party.

What about the people living on the land Niparajá buys?

When we have acquired lands with communities inside, our policy is always to respect all existing possessions at the time of the purchase.

We buy land to protect and, if needed, restore it. Our management activities include the following activities:

1) Monitor use and activities by hiring park rangers from neighboring communities
2) Work with neighbor communities to know the benefits of having a private reserve
3) Install signs that inform the public how to use the land
4) Fence off critical habitat to prevent damage from livestock
5) Monitor the local wildlife and habitat conditions to understand the local ecology.

Why are people from the US, Canada, and other countries interested in conservation in Baja California Sur?

Around the world, the Gulf of California, the coast and sierras of Baja Sur are recognized for their scenic beauty and ecological diversity. Threats to our natural heritage are not limited to Baja California Sur but come from national and global interests. The promotion of conservation and sustainable development attracts national and international foundations that provide material, financial and technical resources to Niparajá.