Analysis of sustainability of productive systems in the cardonal forest using the “framework for sustainability evaluation of natural resources management systems” (MESMIS) . The sustainability degree is the sum of values of all indicators analyzed. Values close to 100% are the optimum. The higher degree of sustainability is in the non-cleared forest under gathering rates of 25% fruits of columnar cacti, followed by the system based on the extraction of 10% fruit. Maize production in rainfed system had the lowest sustainability degree.