Monarch Butterfly Fund

Promote the conservation and protection of forests in the core areas of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve.

The Project

The Monarch Butterfly Fund is a public-private effort developed in collaboration with federal and state government institutions, civil society organizations, and forest landowners to support the conservation of the forests in the core area of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (RBMM, acronym in Spanish) administered by the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP, acronym in Spanish).


Since 2000, the Monarch Butterfly Fund has supported the participation of forest owners in actions to protect their territory, maintain ecological services and conserve the migratory phenomenon of the monarch butterfly in North America. To date, the Monarch Butterfly Fund covers 91% (12,367 hectares) of the core areas of the RBMM, with the participation of 33 communities (ejidos), indigenous communities, and small properties. 

The Monarch Butterfly Fund operates with an endowment administered by FMCN in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the governments of the states of Mexico and Michoacán, as well as CONANP and the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR, acronym in Spanish).

In addition to the timely monitoring of conservation and restoration activities, the Monarch Butterfly Fund manages annual conservation payments and concurrent funds for environmental services to participating properties. In 2021, FMCN updated the legal instruments and adjusted the payment mechanism through CONAFOR's Mexican Forest Fund. With this new arrangement, payments were made with greater agility, and forest owners had lower management costs.

The lines of work that guide the actions of the Monarch Butterfly Fund are:

  1. Benefit to the owners of the core area for the provision of ecosystem services.
  2. Support for investments and compensation for the adoption of good management practices.
  3. Environmental monitoring. 
  4. Support for the diversification and permanence of financing to promote the sustainable management of natural resources.

The Monarch Butterfly Fund has reduced illegal logging in the overwintering habitat of the monarch butterfly in Mexico.

New stage of the Monarch Butterfly Fund


The main achievement of the Monarch Butterfly Fund has been the decrease of illegal logging in the monarch butterfly's overwintering habitat, as shown by WWF annual monitoring reports

In 2020, the Monarch Butterfly Fund celebrated 20 years of supporting forest communities in the core areas of the RBMM in the protection of their forests. To celebrate two decades of operation, the Monarch Butterfly Fund coordinated the production of the documentary "Monarch Fund: 20 years of synergy for conservation" in order to recognize the efforts of those who make this project possible. In addition, a multimedia tool was developed to communicate the project's achievements in the ArcGIS StoryMaps web application.

In 2021, we identified 2,594 hectares in process of restoration thanks to the activities of conservation, restoration, monitoring, and detection of pests and forest fires by the agrarian nucleus. Therefore, starting this year, maintenance and protection activities for recovered areas were incorporated into the Best Management Practices for Conservation Programs. Thanks to the Monarch Butterfly Fund, 33 agrarian nuclei have benefited through CONAFOR Payment for Ecosystem Services Program. Likewise, 97% of the payments for conservation and concurrent funds were delivered to landowners through the Mexican Forestry Fund.

Learn more about the project 

Working Together

With the support of CONAFOR and through Concurrent Funds, in 2018, a collaboration agreement was signed to promote Local Mechanisms for Payments for Ecosystem Services for 18 years, which made it possible to increase the support provided initially by the Monarch Butterfly Fund to forest landowners.

Delivery of conservation payments.

The project's achievements are the result of the coordinated work of the federal environmental authority, the governments of the State of Mexico and Michoacán, FMCN, WWF, ejidos, indigenous communities, and landowners in the core areas who collaborate with the operation of the Monarch Butterfly Fund and concurrent funds to double the payment per hectare conserved in the core zone of the RBMM.

20 years of the Monarch Butterfly Fund

In 2020, the Monarch Butterfly Fund celebrated 20 years of work. Learn about the most critical milestones through a Story Map.