With an estimated 10-12 % of the Earth’s species and only 1.5 % of its total land area, 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 overall trend, rates of forest loss vary widely 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, initiated by the government in 2007 to promote actions for the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of the nation’s forests. Between 2003 and 2011 CONAFOR implemented a total of 5,085 projects covering an area of over 3 million hectares under the PES programme (SEMARNAT, n.d.). PES success has been cited as an important factor for the World Bank’s selection of Mexico as a Forest Carbon Partnership Facility REDD participant.
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). From 2008 until the third quarter of 2012, the PECC had achieved a total reduction in emissions of 129 MtCO2e (SEMARNAT, 2012).
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 and commits Mexico to a 30% emissions reductions target below ‘Business As Usual’ levels, by 2020 (GLOBE INTERNATIONAL, 2013), and a 50% reduction by 2050 in relation to the year 2000 (SEMARNAT, 2012). 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.
At the state level, in accordance with the General Law for Sustainable Forest Development, states are responsible for designing, developing and implementing forestry policies and programmes in line with national objectives. There are many important initiatives under way, including the development of State Level Action Programmes on Climate Change (Programas Estatales de Acción ante el Cambio Climático, PEACC). 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 devoting significant national resources as well as multilateral and bilateral funding to the implementation of activities related to the development of its National REDD+ strategy (Estrategia Nacional REDD; ENAREDD+).
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 with state government support. Whilst at the local level a number of local activities are already being implemented by non-governmental organisations, with some forest carbon projects already engaged in the voluntary carbon market.
- La REDD en Mexico
- Eléments de la REDD
- Gestion et coordination
- Engagement et participation des parties prenantes
- Droits de propriété et droits fonciers
- Conformité (incitations et mise en application)
- Niveau de référence
- Cadre légal
- Plans et politiques
Gestion et coordination
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 theConsultative 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).
Engagement et participation des parties prenantes
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 have taken place 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, financing 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. These committees, in the same way as the national CTC-REDD+, 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. There are currently a number of important consultation bodies that provide avenues for stakeholder engagement in the REDD+ readiness and implementation stages, 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).
Droits de propriété et droits fonciers
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 ownership of all land, allocating only usufruct rights (USAID, 2011). However, in 1992, Article 27 of the Constitution was reformed, creating theAgrarian Law. Whereas previously the State held ultimate title over land and communities maintained use rights, 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 provides for the conversion of ejidal land parcels to private property, granting ejidatarios (ejido members) the right to rent or sell their individually-owned land parcels and thus opens 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 any 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 on Climate Change (GLCC) dictates that REDD+ resources will go to the government foremost for redistribution, making a system of private ownership of forest carbon rights unlikely.
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 forest degradation accrue to the national government and are redistributed to communities who agree to improve their forest management strategies. 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.
Conformité (incitations et mise en application)
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. All 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 adds further challenges to 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. The Payment for Hydrological Environmental Services programme (Pago por Servicios Ambientales Hidrológicos; PSAH), implemented by the National Forestry Commission (Comision Nacional Forestal; CONAFOR) in 2003 aims to prevent deforestation in critical watersheds by providing compensatory payments using funds from water charges. A second PES scheme, created in 2004, aims to support carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation; the Programme to Develop Environmental Services Markets for Carbon Capture and Biodiversity and to Establish and Improve Agroforestry Systems (Programa para Desarrollar el Mercado de Servicios Ambientales por Captura de Carbono y los derivados de la Biodiversidad y para formentar el establecimiento y mejoramiento de Sistemas Agroforestales; PSA-CABSA). The PES schemes have since joined under a 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.
Niveau de référence
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+.
The Mexican Constitution recognises the rights and autonomy of indigenous peoples (Article 2). 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 recognises Mexico as a multicultural state and its various constitutional 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 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 also 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). Under the General Law for Sustainable Forest Development, public participation is under the shared responsibility of the Federal and State Governments. Mexico has 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), and therefore 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+ in Mexico 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 form an important component of strategies aimed at promoting community participation and influence over the development of REDD+, integral if REDD+ is to produce the desired social co-benefits. In promoting the participation of key stakeholders in the design of the national REDD+ strategy, CONAFOR has established the Technical Advisory Committee for REDD+(Comité Técnico Consultivo REDD+; CTC-REDD+), which includes stakeholders from NGOs, private sector and academia, with CONAFOR aiming 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 been involved in the development of the REDD+ strategy. CONANP and CONABIO are 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 is expected to be 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.
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.
Ranked second globally in terms of number of ecosystem types and fourth in terms of species richness (SARUKHAN, 2009), Mexico is one of the world’s five most biologically “mega-diverse” countries (CBD, 2013). According to the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, of the country’s 196.4 million hectares, 33% and around 64.8 million hectares are considered forests. Of this, primary forest comprises 53% and around 34.3 million hectares. Annual change in forest cover is reported at -0.52% from 1990-2000; -0.35% from 2000-2005; and, -0.24% from 2005-2010, suggesting a reduction in deforestation between 2000 and 2010 of 55% (FAO, 2010).
Mexico’s forests are under either federal (public), private or communal ownership. Of these, communal ownership is the most prominent, with the FAO stating that around 70% of the country’s total forest is in the hands of rural agrarian communities: either traditional indigenous communities or ejidos (FAO, 2010). However, estimates of this figure vary and it has been cited as lower than this.
En raison de la structure fédérale de l’État mexicain, la responsabilité des questions liées à l’environnement (dont celles relatives à la forêt et aux changements climatiques) revient pour partie aux États et pour partie au gouvernement national. Il a été mis en évidence que la cohérence entre les politiques et lois fédérales et celles des États est une difficulté majeure pour la mise en œuvre réussie d’une stratégie nationale de REDD+ (SEMARNAT, 2011 ; OIDD et FAO, 2011).
La principale loi qui s’applique à la gouvernance forestière est la Loi générale pour le développement forestier durable (2003). L’un des objectifs de cette loi selon son texte est de « fournir des mécanismes de coordination, de concertation et de coopération entre les institutions forestières et les autres organismes » (article 3). La politique fédérale relative à l’environnement est menée par le Secrétariat de l’environnement et des ressources naturelles (Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT). Le SEMARNAT établit les procédures, lignes directrices et critères de remise des autorisations et des permis relatifs à la gestion et à l’exploitation forestières. Au sein du SEMARNAT, la Commission nationale forestière (Comision Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR) est responsable de la promotion de la gestion durable des forêts (CARRILLO, 2011). Ce service du SEMARNAT est le point de contact de nombreuses initiatives REDD+ menées dans le pays et a été désigné entité coordonatrice des activités REDD+ par le Groupe de travail sur les projets territoriaux (Grupo de Trabajo de Proyectos Territoriales) (SEMARNAT, 2011). Le Conseil national forestier (Consejo Nacional Forestal, CONAF) joue aussi un rôle au titre d’organisme consultatif d’encouragement à la participation des institutions publiques, des acteurs non gouvernementaux et des parties prenantes locales à la mise en œuvre de la politique forestière.
Le Mexique est une république fédérale constituée de 31 États et d’un district fédéral. Le gouvernement fédéral détient le droit de propriété original (dominio originario) sur son territoire et ses ressources en eau, ce qui en fait le propriétaire foncier principal et l’habilite à affecter ses biens au domaine de la propriété privée, publique ou sociale (OIDD et FAO, 2011 ; LÓPEZ BÁRCENAS, n.d.). L’autorité en matière environnementale, y compris sur les questions forestières, est partagée entre les États et le gouvernement national. La cohérence entre les politiques et lois fédérales et celles des États fédérés représente donc l’une des principales difficultés auxquelles sont en bute l’élaboration et la mise en œuvre d’une stratégie nationale de REDD+ efficace.
Le Mexique est un État multiculturel, dans lequel la propriété foncière communautaire ou « sociale » (ejidos et communautés) joue un rôle important dans la politique de protection des forêts, du fait que 50 à 80 % des forêts sont soumises au régime de la propriété communautaire (CIFOR, 2010). Tant les ejidos que les communautés sont considérés comme des entités juridiques disposant de leurs propres réglementations. En dépit des garanties juridiques foncières mises en place, des conflits subsistent dans certaines régions, causés en partie par le manque de cohérence et de coordination entre les institutions et réglementations fédérales et celles des États fédérés (OIDD et FAO, 2011).
En 2012, le Mexique s’est attelé au grand chantier de l’élaboration de son cadre juridique relatif aux changements climatiques et à la protection des forêts, travaux qui ont abouti à d’importantes améliorations. Début 2013, le mécanisme REDD+ ne figurait pas expressément dans aucune des lois du cadre juridique mexicain. Toutefois, plusieurs réglementations précises soutiennent directement la stratégie de REDD+, comme celle qui érige la capture du carbone en service environnemental en vertu de La loi générale pour le développement forestier durable. Malgré cela, certains des aspects juridiques importants du mécanisme REDD+ n’ont pas été suffisamment étudiés, comme c’est le cas de la définition globale des droits sur la forêt et le carbone ou de celles concernant le partage des avantages. Enfin, certaines lois régissant le développement agricole et l’industrie pétrolière risquent d’entrer en conflit avec les mécanismes REDD+ si une démarche d’harmonisation de ces politiques sectorielles avec la stratégie de REDD+ n’est pas entreprise aux niveaux national et infranational.
Plans et politiques
Mexico’s REDD+ strategy is not expected to operate as a single programme or policy instrument, but is expected to follow a comprehensive territorial approach in which rural sustainable development acts as the foundation for REDD+ implementation. In this sense, a number of policies and activities are being developed with horizontal and vertical coordination. The National REDD+ Strategy (Estrategia Nacional REDD+, ENAREDD+) therefore considers a number of existing policy instruments and is focused on promoting institutional alignment with sustainable rural development.
Mexico’s REDD+ process started with the development of its Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank in 2008. Following this, in 2010, the Mexican Government published its Vision for REDD+ (Visión de México sobre REDD+: Hacia una Estrategia Nacional), which formed the foundations for the development of the National REDD+ Strategy (Estrategia Nacional REDD+, ENAREDD+). The ENAREDD+ has been designed according to five strategic principles and is planned for implementation between 2012 and 2020. It was originally expected to be launched at the end of 2012 following a public consultation process, however this has not been the case and (as of March 2013) a draft is still undergoing review.
A number of national plans developed by the associated government agencies relate to climate change, natural resource management, land tenure and rural sustainable development and are therefore relevant to REDD+. The Special Programme on Climate Change (Programa Especial de Cambio Climático, PECC) was developed in 2009 and is based primarily on two previous policy documents; Toward a National Climate Action Strategy 2005-2006 (Hacia una Estrategia Nacional de Acción Climática, HENAC) (2005-2006) and the National Climate Change Strategy (Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático, ENACC). The PECC commits federal government departments to meet national mitigation and adaptation goals in the short-term and includes a long-term vision in establishing mitigation goals for 2020, 2030 and 2050. Other relevant national programmes are the Strategic Programme for the Forestry Sector 2025 (Programa Estragetico Forestal para México 2025, PEF), the Special Concerted Programme for Rural Sustainable Development 2007-2012, the Toward Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability Programme 2007-2012 and the Climate Change Strategy for Protected Areas, among others.
Nationally, Mexico is implementing numerous activities as part of its REDD+ readiness phase and in support of the development of its National REDD+ Strategy, including actions for the development of the MRV system and for developing local and institutional capacity for REDD+ implementation. These include the actions under the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) and the Forest Investment Program (FIP).
The Federal Government through the National Forestry Commission (Comisión Nacional Forestal; CONAFOR) is driving the development of ‘Early Actions’ (AccionesTempranas) in Mexico’s Early Action Areas; the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Jalisco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, which are cumulatively responsible for the majority (70%) of net deforestation in Mexico. The aim of these activities is to explore different scalable arrangements for future implementation of REDD+. These activities aim to integrate with existing programmes for sustainable rural development and sustainable forest management and therefore promote public policy alignment.
A number of REDD+ related projects are being implemented by national and international non-governmental organisations. For example, the Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Silviculture (Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible; CCMSS) is working in a number of municipalities and forest regions to develop REDD+ strategies as part of its ‘REDD Community’ project, and AMBIO (La Cooperative Ambio S. C. de R. L.) has established two carbon forestry projects; a REDD pilot project in the Selva el Ocote Biosphere Reserve and the Scolel’Té project in Oaxaca and Chiapas. International NGOS active in Mexico include those working to implement the M-REDD (Mexico’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) Programme; a result of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the governments of the United States of America and Mexico. The M-REDD is being implemented by a consortium of international and Mexican conservation organisations in the guise of the M-REDD Alliance, which includes the Rainforest Alliance, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza), Woods Hole Research Center, Winrock International and the Nature Conservancy.
A range of funding from domestic, bilateral and multilateral sources supports REDD+ activities in Mexico. Bilateral sources include the Government of Norway(NOK$90 million ~ US$15.4 million), the French Development Agency (MX$2 million ~ US$165,000), theSpanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (EU$40,000 ~ US$55,000) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID, which has provided US$30 million for the M-REDD Programme.
Multilateral sources are mainly from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (US$3.6 million), the European Union’s Latin America Investment Facility (EU$2 million ~ US$2.8 million), as well as other related investments from the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Global Environment Facility(GEF). Mexico also has the potential to access US$60 million in grant from the Forest Investment Program (FIP) under the Strategic Climate Fund.
CONAFOR has a budget that is disbursed through theMexican Forest Fund, which is funding and co-financing a number of national REDD+ initiatives. Government funding for activities under CONAFOR has increased 20 fold in the last decade, however given that forest investments need to be scaled up 30 fold, finding innovative sources of financing remains a challenge (FERNANDEZ-UGLADE 2012, pers. comm., 4 December).