REDD+ projects 11
Other readiness initiatives 36
Forest cover Low
Deforestation rate Low


REDD in Mexico

With an estimated 10-12 % of the Earth’s species, Mexico is among the five most biologically “mega-diverse” countries in the world (CBD, 2013). An estimated ten million indigenous peoples comprising a variety of ethnic and linguistic groups also make Mexico extremely culturally diverse (GONZALEZ, 2011; OHCR, 2011).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report that Mexico has 64.8 million hectares of forest, covering 33 % of its total land area, and that deforestation has decreased by 55% over the last decade (FAO, 2010). Despite this, rates of forest loss vary with some areas continuing to experience high rates of deforestation and forest degradation (CONAFOR, 2010a). Deforestation is often related to the conversion of forests to more lucrative land uses, such as agriculture and livestock activities (FIP, 2011).  Other important regional drivers include tourism, mining and urban expansion (SEMARNAT-INE 2009). The degradation of primary forests is a significant cause of emissions and is largely due to the high rate of extraction in order to supply households and local industry (FIP, 2011).

Mexico is a federal republic consisting of 31 states and a Federal District. Each state has its own constitution led by a governor. Within these states over 2,000 municipalities, headed by a mayor or municipal president, are also legally recognised (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, 2008). After Brazil, Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America (WORLD BANK, 2012). 

The Government of Mexico acknowledges the serious threat climate change poses (SEMARNAT, 2009) and recognises the important role of forest conservation in contributing to climate change mitigation and otherwise. A number of policy instruments have been developed to promote sustainable forest management, reduce deforestation and restore forest ecosystems (CONAFOR, 2010a). Included in these are a number of Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes, including the ProÁrbol programme, which promotes actions for the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of forests. From 2003 -2011 the National Forestry Commission (Comisión Nacional Forestal; CONAFOR) implemented a total of 5,085 projects covering an area of over 3 million hectares under the PES programme (SEMARNAT, n.d.).

In its efforts to tackle climate change, Mexico has developed a series of national strategies and programmes (GLOBE INTERNATIONAL, 2013) such as the Special Programme on Climate Change 2009-2012 (Programa Especial de Cambio Climático, PECC), which categorises priority actions across sectors and specifically incorporates REDD+ (SEMARNAT, 2009).

In April 2012, a series of reforms to the Environmental Law and the General Law for Sustainable Forest Development were passed to facilitate the implementation of REDD+ (GLOBE INTERNATIONAL, 2013). Whilst, more broadly, the enactment of the General Law on Climate Change (GLCC) in June 2012, sets the country on a path towards a low carbon economy (GLOBE INTERNATIONAL, 2013). More specifically to REDD+, the GLCC establishes a Climate Change Fund, to be comprised of a number of sources, including certified emissions reductions, and to be used for different adaptation and mitigation actions, including REDD+.

Mexico has ratified the UNFCCC (1993) and the Kyoto Protocol (2000), and has submitted five National Communications to the UNFCCC; the only non-Annex 1 Party to have done so. Mexico’s Vision for REDD+(Visión de México sobre REDD+: Hacia una Estrategia Nacional) was presented at the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP16) in Cancun and includes goals for zero net emissions related to land use change and important reductions in degradation rates by 2020 (CONAFOR, 2010b). The National REDD+ Strategy (Estrategia Nacional REDD+, ENAREDD+) is under development. Stipulated to be launched at the end of 2012 following a stakeholder consultation process, this has not been the case (as of March 2013) and a change in government at the end of 2012 is likely to have caused some deceleration.

REDD+ planning and implementation in Mexico is taking place at the national level, with sub-national and local projects nesting into the national approach. Mexico is a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and is a UN-REDD partner country, where it is also a Policy Board observer. Under the FCPF, its Readiness Plan Idea Note (R-PIN) was accepted in 2008 and its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) was evaluated by the FCPF Participants Committee and Technical Assessment Panel in 2010, authorising a grant of US$3.6 million for readiness preparation. However, the World Bank and Mexico are yet to sign on this (as of March 2013). Mexico has also been selected as a pilot country by the Forest Investment Program (FIP).  It has finalised its country programming process and has had its FIP investment plans endorsed.  As of the end of 2012, it is the only FIP country to have had projects approved under its country programme (CIF, 2012), however it remains to be seen whether Mexico will accept these funds.

Sub-nationally, priority areas for “early actions” (acciones tempranas) are located in the states of Oaxaca, Jalisco, Chiapas and in the Yucatan Peninsula (in the States of Yucatan, Campeche, and Quintana Roo). These early action activities are not full REDD+ demonstration projects but aim to assess various environmental, social and cultural conditions under which institutional arrangements, governance structures, monitoring and financial mechanisms can be tested. At the state level, many initiatives are underway, including the development of State Level Action Programmes on Climate Change (Programas Estatales de Acción ante el Cambio Climático, PEACC). Whilst at the local level a number of activities are being implemented by non-governmental organisations, with some forest carbon projects already engaged in the voluntary carbon market. 

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Institutional arrangements

In 2005, the Inter-Ministerial Climate Change Commission (Comisión Intersecretarial de Cambio Climático; CICC) was established to coordinate the development of Mexico’s climate change policies, programmes and strategies (SEMARNAT, 2010). The CICC is comprised of senior representatives from ten key ministries and follows a horizontal organisation structure, presided by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources(Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales; SEMARNAT). The CICC receives input from the Consultative Council on Climate Change (Consejo Consultivo de Cambio Climático; C4), which is comprised of scientists and representatives from civil society and the private sector.

In 2009, a REDD+ Working Group (Grupo de Trabajo REDD+; GT-REDD+) was established within the CICC. The following year, a multi-stakeholder Technical Advisory Committee for REDD+ (Comité Técnico Consultivo REDD+; CTC-REDD+) was created and appointed as advisory body for the GT-REDD+ (FCPF, 2012). The GT-REDD+ coordinates REDD+ related issues between ministries within the CICC and C4.  

The development of the National REDD+ Strategy (Estrategia Nacional para REDD+; ENAREDD+) is being coordinated by the National Forestry Commission (Comisión Nacional Forestal; CONAFOR) in close collaboration with the GT-REDD+ and the CTC-REDD+ (CONAFOR, 2010a). CONAFOR is an agency within SEMARNAT. It has an internal REDD+ working group (FCPF, 2012) and co-chairs the GT-REDD+ with the Under Secretary’s Office of Environmental Planning and Policy, that also falls within SEMARNAT. CONAFOR is therefore the focal point of many REDD+ initiatives, including the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), and leads Mexico’s REDD+ negotiations within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

The Inter-Ministerial Commission for Sustainable Rural Development (Comisión Intersecretarial para el Desarrollo Rural Sustentable; CIDRS) provides cross-sectoral horizontal coordination between the different ministries involved in rural development (OECD, 2007). In 2011, the CIDRS created the Working Group of Territorial Projects (Grupo de Trabajo de Proyectos Territoriales; GTPT), which is coordinated by CONAFOR and aims to ensure coherence between rural development and climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, including REDD+ (SAGARPA, 2012). Mexico’s REDD+ Vision identifies sustainable rural development as central to the development of the ENAREDD+, therefore coordination between the CIDRS and the CICC is vital.

As Mexico is developing a nested REDD+ framework, state and local participation are key in the design of the ENAREDD+. Whilst the ENAREDD+ remains under development, ensuring harmony between faster-moving subnational initiatives and the national level, and between progress at the national level with international negotiations under the UNFCCC is vital (FCPF, 2012). 

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Stakeholder engagement and participation

Mexico’s REDD+ readiness process has included broad participation from numerous and diverse stakeholders, although involvement by some local stakeholders has been limited since the majority of national meetings are held in Mexico City. The main forum for consultation throughout the development of the Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) has been through the Environmental Services Programme’s Technical Advisory Committee, which created a subgroup to address REDD+ issues in 2008 (FCPF, 2011b).

In 2010, the Technical Advisory Committee for REDD+ (Comité Técnico Consultivo REDD+; CTC-REDD+) was established to promote dialogue regarding the country’s REDD+ process. The CTC-REDD+ is comprised of stakeholders from government agencies, non-profit organisations, academia, the private sector, financial institutions, landowners and indigenous groups. At the state level, there are also initiatives underway for stakeholder engagement and participation. Chiapas, Jalisco and the states of the Yucatan Peninsula are in the process of establishing, or have recently established, REDD+ committees to collaborate in the development of a REDD+ framework at regional and local levels. As with the CTC-REDD+, these committees, are comprised of stakeholders from state government agencies, non-profit organisations, academia, landowners and indigenous groups.

According to the country’s REDD+ Vision and R-PP, all activities require national, regional and local consultation processes. A number of consultation bodies currently provide avenues for stakeholder engagement in REDD+, including the Advisory Councils for Sustainable Development, the Technical Consultation Body of the National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas; CDI) and the National Forest Council (Consejo Nacional Forestal; CONAF) (CONAFOR, 2010a).

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Land tenure arrangements and carbon rights

There are three broad categories of land tenure in Mexico: federal, communal and small private ownership. Communal ownership involves land under the ownership of rural agrarian communities (nucleos), which are either ejidos or traditional indigenous communities. Ejidos are communally managed agrarian villages acting as self-organised legal entities that have been granted collective land holding by the state. 

Following the 1917 Land Distribution Reform, the federal government held ultimate title over all land, allocating only usufruct rights (USAID, 2011). However, in 1992, Article 27 of the Constitution was reformed, creating the Agrarian Law. Whereas previously communities maintained use rights only, the Agrarian Law provided legal recognition of the rights of ejidos and communities to forestland and permitted for the lease and sale of ejido property. To implement the reform, the Programme for the Certification of Ejido Land Rights and the Titling of Urban House Plots (Programa de Certificación de Derechos Ejidales y Titulación de Solares, PROCEDE) was created. PROCEDE aimed to strengthen land tenure through the survey and certification of land parcels and common use land (ROBLES & PESKETT, 2011). PROCEDE provided for the conversion of ejidal land parcels to private property, granting ejidatarios (ejido members) the right to rent or sell their individually-owned land thus opening up ejidos to private investment (LEWIS, 2002). This system does not apply to the communal land of indigenous communities, who can only engage in the sale of land parcels should they adopt an ejidatorial regime (ROBLES & PESKETT, 2011).  

The ejido General Assembly may opt for the adoption of collective management practices and may further define the mechanisms for the equitable distribution of profits generated (ROBLES & PESKETT, 2011). The part privatisation of ejidal land through parcelisation could have significant ramifications on communal management practices and the distribution of any associated benefits, and therefore REDD+.

The rights of indigenous communities to exploit natural resources existing on their land are recognized in Article 2 of the Constitution. Implementation of the National REDD+ Strategy (ENAREDD+) should therefore not alter existing community rights (CONAFOR, 2010b). However, the Mexican legal framework does not currently (as of March 2013) explicitly recognise carbon rights or ownership, therefore the possibility remains that future carbon ownership regulations might have an effect on existing rights.

The General Law for Sustainable Forest Development recognises forest resources, including environmental services and therefore carbon capture, as belonging to the ejido, community, individual(s) or private or public entity owning the land. The law states that forest owners should be adequately compensated for environmental services and indicates that environmental goods and service bonds could be issued to compensate landowner for services provided (VHUGEN et al. 2011). Debate however remains over how carbon should be integrated into the national REDD+ architecture and different forms of carbon property rights are being analysed as part of the development of the ENAREDD+. Difficulties in measuring reductions in emissions from deforestation and forest degradation on site point to the allocation of flat rate payments to communities as being more equitable, easier to administer, and therefore more motivating when it comes to increasing participation in REDD+. One proposal has therefore been for the use of flat rate payments, whereby credits for reduced deforestation and degradation accrue to the national government and are redistributed to communities who agree to improve their forest management. Conversely, increases in carbon stock associated with forest enhancement that are easier to measure on site could result in a system whereby communities demonstrating measurable increases in forest carbon could sell the credits themselves. In this case carbon stocks would be treated as environmental goods and the direct property of the land owners. CONAFOR has developed flat rate payment mechanisms for hydrological and biodiversity services, and although these mechanisms have provided subsidies in the absence of real environmental markets, they offer some understanding of how carbon rights could be established and how such systems could be applied to a REDD+ framework. 

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Forest management

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales; SEMARNAT), through its General Forestry and Soil Management Office (Dirección General de Gestión Forestal y de Suelos) and the Environmental Protection Agency (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente; PROFEPA), is responsible for enforcing environmental laws, regulating forest activities and authorising the use of forest resources. SEMARNAT establishes the procedures, guidelines and criteria for permits and authorisations for forest management and exploitation. Ejidos and communities have the right to conduct their own forest management practices, either by renting their forest rights to logging enterprises, providing ‘comuneros’ (community members) are then employed, or by executing their own forest management programmes. Ejidos, communities, or those on private properties wishing to develop forest management plans and harvest timber are required to obtain authorisation from SEMARNAT. Although many ejidos and communities comply with existing rules and requirements, many legal, technical and environmental restrictions mean they are not always able to secure proper authorisation. Additionally, relatively long permitting cycles often create disincentives to manage forests legally (CCMSS, 2008). 

A lack of financial and human resources, as well as limited operational capabilities have resulted in the emergence of a large illegal timber market fuelled largely by demand from urban timber distributors and retailers (CCMSS, 2007). Insecurity in many regions of the country due to drug-related conflicts further challenges enforcement efforts (USAID, 2011). Given the current tenure structure, strengthening community governance and resource management capacities would complement law enforcement efforts.

The most notable incentive mechanisms for forest conservation in Mexico are the country’s extensive payments for environmental services (PES) programmes, which are now  joined under one comprehensive PES programme (SEMARNAT, n.d.). CONAFOR has several other programmes offering forest owners a range of management subsidies in the form of reforestation activities, commercial plantations and community planning processes, which act as incentives for participation. Mexico’s success in PES has been cited as an important factor in the World Bank’s selection of Mexico as a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD participant.

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Reference levels

The reference level for Mexico will be based on historical data, as well as an assessment of the risks of deforestation and forest degradation (CONAFOR, 2010a).  As of yet (March 2013) no decision has been reached on which years will provide the foundations for historical reference levels (RL). This is important given that the overall rate of deforestation in Mexico has decreased by 55% between 2000 and 2010 (FAO, 2010).

Currently, Mexico’s legal framework lacks a robust definition of forests. The ultimate definition will have significant implications for REDD+. A definition involving low canopy cover could identify scrub land with relatively weak potential for REDD+ as forest, but would also make the deforestation rates appear lower than they currently do. 

Historical deforestation data from remote sensing and ground truthing efforts are being used to establish deforestation baselines. Data from the National Forest and Soils Inventory (Inventario Nacional Forestal y de Suelos; INFyS) provides a sound basis for the establishment of reference levels against which to measure changes in forest cover. However this is more relevant to the establishment of reference levels for deforestation. Developing reference levels for forest degradation is more problematic given the lack of data available on historical rates. For forest degradation, whilst INFyS can provide the foundations for national level estimates, data is too coarse to apply to the local level. Between 2004 and 2007, INFyS involved data collection at more than 22,000 permanent sampling plots. A five year re-sampling effort commenced in 2008 and is due for completion in 2013. This will precede a new round of data collection to begin in 2014. Despite these efforts, data are currently insufficient to allow for the identification of a reliable reference level for forest degradation.      

At the state level and as part of the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCF) initiative between the States of California; Chiapas and Campeche may develop state and/or regional reference levels for REDD+. 

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Mexico is planning to implement a multi-functional (e.g., carbon, social and environmental safeguard) and multi-scale (e.g., national, subnational and local) forest monitoring system that builds upon the existing National Forest and Soils Inventory (Inventario Nacional Forestal y de Suelos, INFyS) and regional and local inventories (FCPF, 2012). It is proposed that the MRV system uses a combination of remote-sensing and ground-based forest inventory methodologies, and will integrate existing social and environmental information systems. Mexico is exploring ways in which communities might be involved in monitoring carbon stocks within their forests.

The design of the national MRV system will follow the methodologies suggested in the GOFC-GOLD (Global Observation of Forest Cover and Land Dynamics) Source book (CONAFOR, 2010a) and will include: 1) A satellite land monitoring system; 2) A national forest inventory to assess change sin carbon stocks; 3) A National GHG Inventory to estimate anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks; 4) A reference emission level and reference level; and, 5) An institutional framework to coordinate activities.

Several initiatives, funded by various agencies, are currently (as of March 2013) developing methodologies for the design of an MRV system. These projects are carrying out activities related to different components of the MRV system and include those being implemented by the USAID funded M-REDD+ Alliance, the forest monitoring capacity building project coordinated by the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, the ‘Role of Biodiversity in Climate Change Mitigation’ project, the ‘Biodiversity in Productive Forest’ (BIOCER) project, and those related to the Latin American Investment Fund (LAIF). These initiatives are working in the REDD+ Early Action areas in Jalisco and the Yucatan peninsula and in 18 natural protected areas (REINFORCING REDD+ AND SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION, 2012). To promote coordination between these separate activities, the National Forestry Commission (Comision Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR) has initiated a collaborative platform, through the ‘Reinforcing​ REDD+ Readiness and South-South Cooperation’ project, to integrate the initiatives into a multi-project work plan to identify synergies, improve action and avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts.

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The Mexican Constitution recognises the rights and autonomy of indigenous peoples (Article 2). It identifies Mexico as a multicultural state and its various articles establish guarantees for the protection of indigenous peoples, in terms of providing for their self-determination and protecting the integrity of their lands and culture. The National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples (Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas; CDI) further supports the realisation of these rights. The Constitution also provides for the protection of the natural environment with the aim of preserving and restoring ecological equilibrium (Article 27).

The General Law of Sustainable Forest Development (Ley General de Desarrollo Forestal Sustentable) establishes the preferential use of forests in favour of communities. An amendment to this law in 2012 expressly states that policies and legal instruments designed to promote and regulate environmental services [such as REDD+] must guarantee safeguards recognised within international law (amendment to article 134b). Having ratified the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No. 169, an international treaty containing provisions to protect the property, culture, laws and institutions of indigenous peoples (IDLO & FAO, 2011), Mexico supports the participation of indigenous people in the implementation of REDD+ (FCPF, 2012).

Since most forests in Mexico are owned by communities, REDD+ implementation is likely to occur at the community level (WORLD BANK, 2011). Social safeguards are therefore important in ensuring that REDD+ does not have adverse social impacts. As described in its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP), REDD+ preparation activities include stakeholder consultations, capacity building and a strategic environmental and social assessment (SESA). Stakeholder consultations are important in promoting community participation and influence over the development of REDD+, integral if REDD+ is to produce the desired social co-benefits. To promote stakeholder participation in the design of the national REDD+ strategy, CONAFOR has established the Technical Advisory Committee for REDD+(Comité Técnico Consultivo REDD+; CTC-REDD+).CONAFOR also aims to enhance participation of organisations acting on behalf of grassroots local forest communities (WORLD BANK, 2011).

The SESA aims to incorporate social and environmental considerations into the REDD+ readiness process. Following 2 regional and national-level workshops held in Bacalar and Mexico City in 2011 (FCPF, 2011a), six further regional workshops and the establishment of an SESA Monitoring Group (Grupo de Seguimiento) have aimed to improve the SESA process (FCPF, 2012).  CONAFOR is also working on a second draft of a communication strategy to support the SESA that will promote the dissemination of information, participation and awareness-raising. Throughout 2013, CONAFOR is proceeding with the SESA work plan (FCPF, 2012). The SESA will inform the establishment of an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESFM) to manage environmental and social risks and mitigate any associate adverse impacts (WORLD BANK, 2011).

The National Commission for Protected Areas (Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas; CONANP) and the National Biodiversity Commission (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad; CONABIO) have also been involved in the assessment and management of the potential adverse impacts on protected areas and priority areas for biodiversity not currently protected that REDD+ activities may have (WORLD BANK, 2011).

Despite progress in this area, Mexico is yet to define how social and environmental safeguards will be measured. This is expected to be included in the ENAREDD+, which shouldbe presented in 2013. At the project level, there are examples of safeguards that adhere to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards.

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Gender Equality

The 2010 R-PP stated that the objectives and vision of the first National REDD+ Strategy (ENAREDD+) for Mexico was based on a set of principles that include territorial, social, cultural and gender inclusion and equity. However, this early version of ENAREDD+ lacked a meaningful gender focus, this being its only mention of gender. Since then, though, concerted efforts have been made to integrate gender into REDD+, reflected in the mainstreaming of gender into the 2015 ENAREDD+ and other policies.

In practice, the customary structures of many rural communities in Mexico exclude women from secure access to land and natural resources, and as a result, from carbon benefits under REDD+ (The Forest Dialogue, 2014). This is despite the 1971 the Agrarian Law (which grants women the same land rights as men) and the 2006 General Law on Equality between Men and Women (which guarantees equal opportunities through policies and measures such as affirmative action, and establishes the need to generate data and performance indicators that are disaggregated by gender). There remain persistent structural issues in natural resource governance that deprive women of influence in forest management (The Forest Dialogue, 2014). USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy in Mexico states that ‘unequal treatment of women persists throughout the country’ (USAID 2014).

To address this situation, concerted efforts have been made that have successfully integrated gender considerations into REDD+ policies. Various measures have been put in place, described below.

The IUCN’s Global Gender Office and Alianza Mexico REDD+ have collaborated to mainstream gender into REDD+ processes, especially legal and policy frameworks, and to achieve gender equality in their implementation (Alianza Mexico REDD+ is a consortium of international and Mexican conservation organisations). As a result of this work, and partnership with the Environment Ministry (SEMARNAT) and the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), the 2015 draft of ENAREDD+ has a strong gender focus (IUCN Global Gender Office, n.d.). It recognises the particular difficulties facing rural women, and has a set of action points specifically focused on women and other groups with particular needs, such as promoting their participation in community forestry and environmental services activities; promoting compliance with legislation for REDD+ and equal opportunities; and capacity building for women in managing natural resources in ways that contribute to carbon stocks (p81,CONAFOR, 2015). ENAREDD+ also recognises the importance of women’s organisations in REDD+, tailored communications to women, and the involvement of women in reporting on safeguards.

The collaboration between the IUCN Global Gender Office and Alianza REDD+ Mexico also resulted in the inclusion of 13 lines of action on gender in Mexico’s Special Program for Climate Change for 2014-2018 (PECC); for example, on training, ecotourism, risks and financial criteria (Alianza Mexico REDD+, n.d.). Their work and lessons learnt fed into a Gender Action Plan for REDD+ in Mexico, setting out actions that can be taken on board by the Mexico Government, and by civil society. This proposes key actions to secure gender equality across the REDD+ framework for Mexico, and steps to strengthen the technical and institutional capacities for mainstreaming gender (IUCN Global Gender Office, 2014).

Alianza Mexico REDD+ (n.d.) report that further action is underway to integrate gender issues into laws such as the General Law for Sustainable Forest Development and the General Law on Climate Change, which until 2014 lacked a gender focus. Congress started a process of legal reform for more mainstreaming of gender equality issues into these two laws, setting up a Working Group that developed technical inputs and integrated gender criteria into both laws. Also in 2014, the Centre for the Advancement of Women and Gender Equity in the House of Representatives (CEAMEG) produced the study ‘Analysis of earmarked expenditures for women and gender equality in the field of environment, forestry, and climate change’ (Alianza Mexico REDD+, n. d.).

Between 2007 and 2012, Mexico’s National Development Plan aimed to institutionalise gender within the public policies of SEMARNAT under the ‘Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability’ Programme. This complemented the National Programme for Equality between Men and Women 2009-2012 (PROIGUALDAD). The National Development Plan and PROIGUALDAD were renewed for 2013-2018. These envisage the incorporation of gender aspects into all government actions by promoting equality between women and men across all public policies. PROIGUALDAD Strategy 5.5 includes incorporating the gender perspective in environmental and sustainability policies (Alianza Mexico REDD+, n.d.), and many PROIGUALDAD actions are incorporated into the PECC.

Alianza Mexico REDD+ also took forward its work on gender through The Forests Dialogue, which brought together stakeholders to discuss REDD+ benefit sharing in Mexico in 2014. (The Forests Dialogue meeting was one of a series of international dialogues, itself part of IUCN’s project on ‘REDD+ Benefits: Facilitating countries and communities in the design of pro-poor REDD+ benefit sharing schemes’, The Forests Dialogue, 2014a). This discussion drew on an IUCN scoping paper into the challenges facing REDD+ benefit-sharing in Mexico (Torres and Skutsch, 2014). Participants emphasised that gender sensitive policies alone are not enough: proactive and affirmative actions are needed to address the participation of women at all stages of governance, from decision-making to the practicalities of benefit-sharing. They also stated that screening of investment plans and budgets, capacity-building of all institutions, and enhanced consultations with women and increased public awareness of REDD+ are needed (The Forests Dialogue, 2014).

The Forest Dialogue delegates proposed components for a road map for gender inclusion in REDD+ benefit sharing in Mexico. This outlined some general approaches to sharing socio-economic benefits equitably, and for monitoring and implementation, at the national and subnational levels. Elements of this road map were embedded in the overall Gender Action Plan for REDD+ in Mexico developed by the IUCN and the Mexico Government (The Forests Dialogue, 2014).

The needs of women were also recognised in the project for Mitigation, Resilience and Sustainable Profitability in Forest Landscapes, funded by the Forest Investment Programme of the Climate Investment Fund (FIP). This promoted investment in sustainable mosaic landscapes to support smallholders in improving resilience, and identified women as a beneficiary group. In the FIP’s Investment Plan for Mexico (2011), several other indicators for successful REDD+ implementation were noted, such as legally recognised tenure rights, access to economic benefits and access to REDD+-related information (Co-benefit objectives A2 and B3d). Particular emphasis was put on the needs of women in ejido communities.


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