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Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental, A.C. (CEMDA)

Mexico City, Mexico
Joined June 2016
Presence in: Mexico
Focus: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Right to Information

A coalition of Mexican attorneys founded CEMDA in August 1993, after the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). They were interested in the development, effective implementation and improvement of environmental law as a means to protect Mexico´s environment and natural resources.

Thus, CEMDA is a non-political, non-profit, non-governmental organization that seeks to contribute to various national and international efforts for environmental protection and natural resources, by the strengthening, consolidation, harmonization, implementation and enforcement of the legal environmental system. The scope of our work covers rural and urban areas at the local, municipal, state, regional, national and international levels.  We are headquartered in Mexico City, with regional offices in four states of the country.

The mission of the organization is to promote the right to a healthy environment and its protection through the development and enforcement of legislation and public policy.

People Associated With This Organization

Felipe Romero

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental,...
Joined March 2017
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice, Generalist Legal Services, Right to Information
Hola, soy Felipe Romero, abogado y con estudios en desarrollo rural. He trabajado en diversas organizaciones de la sociedad civil y desde el 2013 colaboro en el Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA) en las áreas de defensa y de derechos humanos. Trabajo en pueblos y comunidades campesinos, indígenas y urbanas en la construcción de estrategias para defensa en contextos de grandes proyectos de desarrollo. Creo que el trabajo en comunidades es una base para construir modos de vida mas dignos.

Espero que la cooperación en la Red sea un espacio de intercambio y de aprendizaje de experiencias y conocimientos. Espero aportar cosas y aprender mucho de los demás miembros. Gracias.

Contributed Resources:

Gisselle García

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental,...
Joined March 2021
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Peace-building & Transitional Justice, Policy Advocacy, Women's Rights
I´m a mexican woman that always been interested in human rights, gender and environmental matters. I studied Law at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM), and I have a Master degree in Environmental Law from the Rovira i Virgili University, in Tarragona, Spain. I have worked in mexican government agencies to protect the environment as the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) and the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (PROFEPA). As a research assistant have worked for the Multicultural and Indigenous Research Program (PUMC) and for the Legal Philosophy Department at Law Faculty, both from the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM).
I have extensively participated in environmental causes as a volunteer and as partaker at NGOs, environmental movements and international conferences like the Legal Research Group for the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) in 2014-2016.

Currently I work at the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) and teach in the Iberoamerican Univerisity (La Ibero) the subjects of Environmental Tought and Environmental Law and Justice.

My main interests are sustainable development, crops and biodiversity, water security, air quality, climate change, renewable energy, traditional knowledge of indigenous people, and environmental justice.

Juan Carlos Carrillo Fuentes

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental,...
Joined June 2016
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice, Governance, Accountability & Transparency, Right to Information
My personal work is related to the management of integrated landscape, the community forest management and, therefore, the collective and indigenous rights as well in this regard several Mexican laws merge with the traditional community system (usos y costumbres), that govern each forest community.

The production, policy and relations system in the western world, specially in large urban areas, operates based on principles such as private ownership, contractual relationships and individual rights. on the other hand, and at the same time, there are a number of small forest communities that often have a primarily oral system, with specific traditions, activities, rights and obligations, but all of them from a community perspective.

Both systems reflects a particular way of understanding the world. In other words, each worldview represents a unique understanding of nature and human ethics, rights and responsibilities; nevertheless, both perspectives need to face and understand each other in order to have a real sustainable development.

Therfore, in order to address issues related to territory, land and natural resources rights, it is crucial to build up bridges between the 2 coexisting legal systems: written rights and traditional law of forest communities and indigenous people.

In this context, I would like to learn from other perspectives and experiences regarding collective action and advocacy, always looking for better policies to promote legal empowerment for forest communities.

Contributed Resources:

Juan Carlos Lara

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental,... (Unverified)
Joined September 2020
Interests: Environmental Justice
Trabajo en una organización civil que tiene más de 25 años dedicada a la protección del ambiente y los objetivos de esta organización así como de mi perfil están relacionados con los temas y perfiles de la red. Tengo experiencia en el sector privado y en el sector público soy abogado litigante y como lo mencione mis objetivos se compatibilizan con los de la red.

Yoatzin Popoca Hernández

Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental,...
Joined March 2021
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Environmental Justice, Traditional / Customary Justice
My name is Yoa Popoca, I'm a lawyer and I've been working for the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA by its initials in spanish) at the Regional Office Gulf of Mexico, based in Xalapa, Veracruz, for the last two years. Throughout my time with the organisation, I've mostly done strategic litigation and given accompaniment to indigenous peoples and comparable communities who defend their territories and the natural resources within them from extractive projects and public policies that harm their culture and millenarian heritage. My expertise lies in the use of environmental law as a tool to reivindicate the rights of these communities and those other ways of dwell and live in Mexico, therefore, protect mother nature. I'm looking to join this network to share the experiences I've got and, mostly, to learn from other processess of defense.

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