Historically, Mexico’s natural resources have benefited all the population by bringing essential goods in the form of food, construction materials and traditional medicine among others. But in recent decades, a growing economic activity based on heavy extraction of such resources and a lack of coordination among public policies have caused an increased pressure over the country’s biodiversity. In the context of the CBD COP13 to be held in Mexico, the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Initiative for Biodiversity Finances (BIOFIN-Mexico), developed along with the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors, a series of diagnoses that reviewed the main instruments of public policy, in terms of biodiversity mainstreaming within and across each sector. In order to complement and strengthen these diagnoses, and identify the best opportunities for biodiversity mainstreaming within and among the four relevant sectors, four sectorial workshops -with the participation of all major stakeholders- were prepared. In these workshops, the sectors constructed the “Sectorial Strategies for Biodiversity Mainstreaming” that were presented at the Intersectorial Workshop for the Integration of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, which included high-level representatives of the four relevant sectors, as well as the environmental sector and major conservation organizations and initiatives. During this last Workshop, the participants identified the best opportunities and mechanisms of intersectorial coordination and the way ongoing initiatives can contribute to the efforts for biodiversity mainstreaming.
The Sectorial Strategies for Biodiversity Mainstreaming were constructed under the umbrella of Mexico’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (ENBioMex), and will be key to its implementation given the direct relationship and impact of these relevant sectors with biodiversity.
Although many policy instruments of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors in Mexico mention “natural resources”, very few refer explicitly to “biodiversity” or provide specific measures for its conservation, even when it is essential for the productivity of these sectors. Lack of coordination among different sectors’ policy instruments and program guidelines, often results in contradicting policies or the inefficient use of funds, which has a detrimental effect on the conservation of biodiversity.
The action taken:
The preparation phase for the construction process of this project started on November 2015, with the International Expert Workshop on Biodiversity Mainstreaming in Mexico City. A total of 108 experts from 20 countries participated in the identification of grounds for a common understanding regarding biodiversity mainstreaming in primary sectors. Shortly after this, Mexico’s NBSAP (ENBioMex) was produced and it served as the umbrella for the construction of the Sectorial Strategies. The main steps for this construction process were:
- Diagnoses of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors concerning the status of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, revising current policy instruments. The diagnoses included the identification of the best practices and opportunities within each sector for making progress on biodiversity mainstreaming.
- A training course of "Political Advice and Integration of Biodiversity" was held prior to the sectorial workshops, addressing government officials who advise sectorial policy processes (where biodiversity can be integrated). The objectives were: (1) to review international commitments in key sectors for biodiversity mainstreaming and to analyze options for their implementation; (2) to analyze the application of common approaches in policy advice and to provide elements to take the first steps for biodiversity mainstreaming; and (3) to share experiences among participants.
- Once approved, the diagnoses by each sector served as input for the 4 Sectorial Workshops (one per sector), which included the participation of a diverse array of major stakeholders from academia, NGOs, private producers, local communities and production coops. During these workshops, the participants complemented the information provided in the diagnoses, identified and prioritized the best opportunities for achieving biodiversity mainstreaming within and among sectors, and identified principal barriers and facilitators.
- With the elements provided by the diagnoses and the Sectorial Workshops, complemented with results of the International Experts Workshop ,and in alignment with the ENBioMex and the strategic lines outlined by SBSTTA and SBI, four Sectorial Strategies for Biodiversity Mainstreaming were constructed, using a participatory and traceable methodology.
- Emphasis was made on interinstitutional and intersectorial coordination. The Sectorial Strategies were presented at the Intersectorial Workshop for the Integration of Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biodiversity, which included high-level representatives of the four relevant sectors, as well as the environmental sector and major conservation organizations and initiatives. The participants worked together in a exercise aimed at identifying the best mechanisms for intersectorial collaboration, as well as the best opportunities for interinstitutional coordination for the implementation of selected initiatives that can produce the best results on biodiversity mainstreaming.
The number, wide diversity and different views of stakeholders involved in the relevant sectors, are challenging for constructing a meaningful biodiversity mainstreaming strategy. During the process of doing so, care was taken for contacting, inviting and involving the major actors within each sector, as well as working closely with key liaisons within each sectors’ institutions.
Four Sectorial Strategies for Biodiversity Mainstreaming contain the strategic lines that will guide actions of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries and tourism sectors for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, securing a proper intersectorial coordination in line with Mexico’s NBSAP (ENBioMex).