CEDRSSA's Impact on Legislation and Rural Lives

CEDRSSA, a Mexican think tank focused on rural development, celebrates 20 years of research and legislative impact. Anniversary events will highlight their focus on sustainable development and food sovereignty in Mexico.

CEDRSSA's Impact on Legislation and Rural Lives
CEDRSSA's research shapes legislation, impacting the lives of Mexico's rural communities.

The corridors of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies exude more than just the air of political maneuvering. Deep within this legislative heartland lies an institutional secret, a think tank dedicated to shaping the future of the Mexican countryside. The Center for Studies on Sustainable Rural Development and Food Sovereignty (CEDRSSA) is celebrating an auspicious milestone – 20 years of research, advocacy, and shaping the fabric of rural Mexico.

Tania Daniela Ramos Bolaños, Head of the General Directorate of CEDRSSA, offers a unique perspective as we delve into the institution's history, triumphs, and its ambitious vision for the future. A conversation with her reveals a mix of quiet determination and an almost infectious enthusiasm for the work CEDRSSA undertakes.

Rooted in Necessity

“When you speak of origins,” reflects Bolaños, “you speak of necessity.” CEDRSSA, the brainchild of forward-thinking legislators, sprouted from the realization that sustainable development needed more than just political will. It demanded reliable, well-researched information and recommendations. Its mission was clear: bridge the gap between theoretical discourse and the tangible realities faced by Mexico's rural communities.

Theory is nothing without application. The center's output is neither abstract commentary nor purely academic. Each piece of research, every published analysis, feeds into the legislative toolkit of Mexico's lawmakers, facilitating change that ripples through the lives of farmers, landowners, and all those whose livelihoods are entwined with the land.

Within the walls of the CEDRSSA, collective effort reigns supreme. “We are a team,” asserts Bolaños, “a group of individuals propelled by the same purpose.” Success, she explains, is never the product of a single brilliant mind. It's fueled by a shared dedication to rigor, perseverance, and true collaboration. This emphasis on a united front, this shunning of individualistic glory, lends an air of refreshing humility to the work done within the institution.

CEDRSSA's 20-year anniversary isn't just a time for self-congratulation. It's also a moment to analyze challenges and plot a more ambitious course for the future.

“We live in a data-saturated world,” Bolaños notes, “Our challenge is ensuring that our message, the results of our tireless work, resonate.” To that end, CEDRSSA is doubling down on efforts to make its voice heard by the commissions it supports, cementing existing relationships and forging new ones. After all, the best research has little impact if it doesn't reach the right desks.

Issues at the Forefront

CEDRSSA's future, according to Bolaños, demands even greater focus on the most pressing issues of our time. The specter of climate change casts a long shadow, and it's felt most acutely by those who work the land. Access to water, a perennial battleground for farmers everywhere, remains high on CEDRSSA's agenda. Animal welfare, a topic often relegated to the margins of policy debate, will also get a renewed emphasis. And then there is the overarching goal – ensuring Mexico's food sovereignty, the ability of its people to feed themselves without undue reliance on external forces.

2024 promises to be a banner year for the center. Forums, workshops, and other events will abound. There's a commemorative event marking the 20-year anniversary, a special edition of the prestigious “Rep. Francisco J. Múgica” National Award. But Bolaños stresses another form of celebration: “We'll honor the present by continuing our work, and above all, by building a future of greater sustainability and food sovereignty.”

There's something subtly poetic about this approach. Amidst the pomp and ceremony, CEDRSSA remains committed to the grind, to providing the information and insights that transform lives beyond the walls of the Chamber of Deputies. And perhaps that's the key to their success, this potent mix of the sophisticated and the grounded, of ambitious vision and unwavering practicality.

In-text Citation: (Rivera Jordán, 2024, pp. 50-51)