Conserving monarch butterflies

Project description

Title: develoPPP Monarch Butterfly Conservation Project: ‘Wings for the Field’
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)​​​​​​​
Country: Mexiko
Counterpart: BASF
Overall term​​​​​​​: 2019 to 2022

Large kaleidoscope of monarch butterflies, © Carlos Galindo Leal/CONABIO


The monarch butterfly is famous around the world for its impressive migration route that takes it from Canada to Mexico every year. After a journey lasting two months, the butterfly hibernates in the forests in the federal states of México and Michoacán, most of which are in conservation areas.

For the entire length of the journey, the female butterfly is an important pollinator for agriculture in Canada, the United States and Mexico. However, the butterfly population and that of other pollinators has fallen drastically. This is caused by a loss of soil, habitats and sources of nectar. Particular factors that have affected the availability of nectar include more land being taken for agriculture and bad agricultural practices.

In Mexico, agriculture is using more than a million hectares of land in the conservation areas. It is therefore important to apply good agricultural practices in these areas and the areas that they affect.


Farmers are increasingly adopting good agricultural practices along the monarch butterflies’ migration route to conserve these and other pollinators.

Bird’s eye view of a field in which avocados are grown, © GIZ Mexico/Daniel de la Torre


The project is implementing the following measures to achieve this:

  • Conducting training in farmer field schools to encourage farmers and students to make changes
  • Providing virtual training in the form of seminars and workshops
  • Enabling trainers to teach engineers in agricultural institutions
  • Raising awareness via a website and social networks
  • Creating habitats for pollinators in the innovation centres of the company BASF
  • Establishing gardens for pollinators in schools and other areas
  • Coordinating between the Government, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to ensure that fields are managed in an environmentally friendly way and support proper disposal of containers used for chemicals in arable production in conservation areas

Training courses focus on four main topics: the environmentally friendly use of chemicals for arable production, integrated pest management, good agricultural practices for pollinators, and benefits for ecosystems and agriculture. To help pollinators, the project supports protective areas, gardens and living fences with plants and strips of flowers.

Last update: July 2022

Farmer in a field with a strip of flowers for pollinators © GIZ Mexico/Daniel de la Torre

Additional information