Mainstreaming of biodiversity within Mexican agriculture (IKI-IBA)

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The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) of Germany collaborates in this project

Agriculture is vital to the Mexican economy: around one in seven of the population earns a living from it. Traditionally, subsidy programmes in the sector have in particular promoted intensification of agricultural production through the use of pesticides and unsustainable practices without taking account of the impact on ecosystems and ecosystem services. The country therefore faces the challenge of decoupling development of the agricultural sector from the ecosystem degradation and the loss of biodiversity. It also wants small-scale farmers to be able to participate in economic development and manage their land sustainably.

Objective

Key public and private stakeholders in the Mexican agricultural sector recognise the environmental, socio-economic and cultural values of biodiversity and ecosystem services and integrate them into decision-making and planning tools.

Approach

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the Mexican authorities in acquiring experience of the integration of biodiversity within agricultural production processes. The aim is to use the resulting knowledge to formulate courses of action and promote solutions. In addition, the project coordinates a range of sectoral measures and funding programmes, identifies environmentally harmful incentives and develops proposals for harmonisation.

The initiative works with public stakeholders, research institutions, the private sector and non-governmental organisations to highlight the links between agricultural production and conservation of ecosystem services for sustainable development. A TEEBAgriFood study for Mexican agriculture is being conducted in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) (see link below). Public authorities and private sector stakeholders will also be supported through training and events to identify the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services for sustainable agriculture and integrate them into decision-making processes.

Results

So far, the project has advised the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture (SAGARPA) on the establishment of a national biodiversity integration strategy, which was adopted in October 2017 and implemented with support from the project.

In addition, the Centre for the Integration of Biodiversity within SAGARPA was opened in March 2018 with impetus from the project. The centre is a forum for cross-sectoral discussion of sustainable development of the agricultural sector. Among other things, it is intended to implement an agreement between SAGARPA and the Mexican Ministry of the Environment (SEMARNAT). Under this agreement, agricultural subsidies will no longer be available for the expansion of agricultural land in nature conservation areas and areas with natural vegetation.

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