Mexico is a “megadiversity” country in terms of biodiversity, with some 65.3 million hectares under forest cover. The country faces increasing problems of social acceptability and needs to define new conservation methods distinct from traditional protected areas, in order to extend the surface area of its territory devoted to the conservation of its various ecosystems. Mexico has lost substantial portions of biodiversity-rich ecosystems in recent years, particularly mangroves, wetlands, arid and semi-arid areas and certain forests.
The National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP) has expressed its interest in adapting the French model of Regional Nature Parks (RNPs) to the Mexican context. A pilot experiment in the Ameca watershed is the basis of a national reflection process, which will lead to the definition of a new category of conservation, or to the adaptation of existing categories into Mexican legislation.
The key concepts underlying the proposed approach are related to the cultural identity of the territories that need to be conserved, the concerted formulation of territorial management instruments (based on territorial charters from the RNP model), the involvement of inter-municipalities and local socioeconomic actors, and the alignment of public policies and investment programs in the areas to be conserved through these new conservation methods.
The project has six components:
- The definition and implementation of a territorial governance model in a “pilot” Regional Nature Area in the Western Sierra of Jalisco.
- An opportunities study, which will allow a definitive delimitation of the “pilot” Regional Nature Area during the initial phase of the project.
- The identification, conservation and responsible use of sites with high ecosystem value, which will be integrated into the development tools of the territory.
- The assessment of the economic value of the environmental services provided by the pilot RNA in order to define the bases for the preparation of the business plan for this RNA.
- The facilitation of the institutionalization process at national level, aiming to define the status of the new conservation method (Regional Nature Area) based on the French Regional Nature Park model and its replication on other priority conservation sites in Mexico.
- The management, administration and monitoring-evaluation of the project.
The project is designing and testing a new conservation method in a pilot area in the State of Jalisco, based on a concerted approach to territorial management.
- Contribute to feeding into the institutionalization process for this approach at national level in order to more effectively address the new conservation challenges in Mexico.
- Test innovative approaches and coordination tools for public investment policies in a coherent territory, based on a sustainable territorial development charter. This charter aims to reconcile the conservation and connectivity objectives with the local development objectives for the benefit of the relevant communities.
- Create the conditions for the financial sustainability of this model, with a business plan for the pilot area, which will need to balance employment and financial resources and will integrate the remuneration of the environmental services provided by the territory.
on the same region