Scolel’te, Mexico // GO BACK

Scolel’te is an ecosystem services programme focused on reforestation and forest management.

Scolel’te is the longest-running ecosystem services project on the Voluntary Carbon Market across the globe. It has served as a benchmark and formed the basis for the development of the Plan Vivo system.

Actively Contributes to



Quality Education

Climate Change

Scolel’te (“the tree that grows” in Mayan Tzeltal language) is the longest-standing project in the Plan Vivo network, dating back to a pilot programme in 1994. It was officially operational three years later.

It has been running on a commercially self-sufficient basis since 2002 under the leadership of AMBIO, a Mexican environmental non-profit cooperative that coordinates the project and organises field activities in cooperation with various communi-ty groups, smallholder farmers and social organisations.

The Scolel’te programme supports 1,287 producers and 9 community groups, benefitting approximately 2,450 families. In March 2011, Scolel’te was recognised by Initiativa Mexico Awards. Scolel’te was chosen as a national finalist from hundreds of local initiatives and showcased on national television, as an outstanding local environmental initiative. In 2013, AMBIO also received the Mexican National Forest Merit Award.


Chiapas (Mexico)

Operational Since:


Project Coordinator:

Cooperativa Ambio S.C. de R.L.

PVCs Issued to date:


Area of Land under Management:

9,049 ha



Project Interventions:

  • Afforestation
  • Agroforestry
  • Reforestation
  • Forest Restoration
  • Avoided Deforestation

1997: Registration

2002: First Verificaiton

2008: Second Verification

2013: Third Verification

2016: Over half a million PVCs issued

2017: Project celebrated its 20th birthday

Coordinator Details:

Visit AMBIO website

Contact AMBIO

Project Location

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December 2018 | AMBIO (the project coordinator) shared their experiences from Scolel'te with organisations from across South America at the "Sustainable Livestocks and its relationship with the forest" workshop in Asunción, Paraguay. Read more.

April 2018 | The Scolel'te project continued to expand in 2017 with the addition of over 70 new smallholders! This brings the total number of participants to an incredible 1240! Read more

November 2018 | AMBIO (the project coordinator) participated in a meeting with the new head Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. They used their experiences to provide advice on issues such as violations to community land rights. Read more

August 2017 | The Scolel'te project celebrated its 20th anniversary through an event held in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. Smallholders showcased their products, whilst the public participated in workshops and seminars that provided information on climate change and the voluntary carbon market.