The agricultural sector is one of the main drivers of biodiversity loss and climate change. It is also one of the sectors most affected by these processes. Agriculture is highly dependent on biodiversity and ecosystem services, however, its value for the sector and the environmental costs associated with non-sustainable agricultural practices are often overlooked in the sector´s decision-making and considered in subsidy programs or other economic or financial instruments.

This project, implemented jointly by the German Cooperation for Sustainable Development GIZ, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRICULTURA), the Ministry of the Environment SEMARNAT and the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity CONABIO, on behalf of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety BMU, aims to integrate the socio-economic, ecological and cultural values of biodiversity and ecosystem services in decision-making and planning instruments of key public and private actors in the Mexican agricultural sector.

Together with public stakeholders, research centers, the private sector, FAO and UNEP, instruments for biodiversity conservation, climate protection and the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices have been implemented in an exemplary manner and integrated into selected agricultural production systems and value chains.

Lessons learned in the analysis, design and implementation of incentives that promote sustainable land use practices have been integrated into public policies and tested in pilot states with the objective of scaling up these experiences to policy level.

This project promotes intersectoral dialogue and generates concrete examples for the integration of biodiversity in agriculture, which will feed the international debate.


Working with public sector

The project provided advisory services to AGRICULTURA in the development of the priority objective “Climate Change and Natural Resources” (Sector Program) and its transversal Climate Plan (including biodiversity), as well as inputs to the new intersectoral special program on climate change (coordinated by SEMARNAT) and the national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Work was conducted with the agricultural and environmental sectors of Jalisco to develop a Biodiversity Integration Strategy for the state, which will guide the state’s efforts to achieve sustainable production.

In December 2019, the progress of the project was presented and discussed at the Madrid Climate Summit (UNFCCC COP 25). The Mexican delegation, represented by AGRICULTURA, highlighted the importance of biodiversity-friendly and climate-smart agriculture for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.


Working with private sector

 In 2019 begins the Madre Tierra project in cooperation with Danone, Altex, TechnoServe and Nuup, which seeks to develop regenerative agriculture that positively impacts the strawberry value chain in Maravatío, Michoacán by aiming to improve the production, business and sustainability conditions of 140 small producers.


National Strategy of Pollinators

The project supports cross-sectoral collaboration by actively participating in the process of building the National Strategy for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators – analysis of the current state of pollinators in Mexico and structure for the Zero Draft. The strategy will be launched in 2021.

This video, made in cooperation with Deutsche Welle, talks about the loss of vanilla pollinators in Mexico.


TEEB AgriFood Mexico

In 2019, with the participation of 20 institutions from the agricultural, environmental and health sectors, initiated the TEEB AgriFood study (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity, Agriculture and Food) with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union, which opens the way to visualizing the socioeconomic, ecological and cultural values of corn by comparing milpa production with industrial production; A study on the coffee value chain is also being considered. Provisional results on the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Mexican agricultural sector are expected by September 2021.

Due to the great relevance of TEEB AgriFood Mexico, the European Union has decided to support the initiative within the private sector. The aim of this support is to raise awareness among Mexican agri-food companies about the values of biodiversity and thus be able to work together to minimize its impacts and contribute to a more sustainable food and agricultural sector. To this end, work is being carried out with Capitals Coalition, an initiative that works with companies and organizations and develops protocols to help companies identify, measure and assess their impacts and their dependence on natural, social and human capital. The aim is to make natural capital visible and quantify it and identify impacts and dependencies to value and protect biodiversity and contribute to a more sustainable agricultural sector.

Both TEEB for the public and private sectors are focused on public policy and business decision making, respectively.


National Meeting of Producers

In May 2018, an exchange of experiences and knowledge was held between representatives of rural organizations and producers who already integrate biodiversity values and ecosystem services into their productive activities. The objective of the meeting was to identify potential cooperation, exchange good practices and systematize experiences to integrate them into policy decision-making processes.

Subsequently, three Regional Forums were held in Oaxaca, Merida and Guadalajara to identify priorities for pilot projects on the integration of biodiversity into agricultural production processes and value chains.

As a result of the events, a catalog of experiences on the integration of biodiversity in Mexican agriculture (local experiences) was compiled, based on inputs from producers, non-governmental organizations, academics and community representatives.


Biodiversity Integration Center

With support from the project, the topic of mainstreaming biodiversity in the agricultural sector was institutionalized through the opening of SADER’s Biodiversity Integration Center. The center aims to promote intersectoral exchange for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector. Among other things, the center will contribute to the implementation of the agreement between the agricultural sector and the environmental sector, according to which agricultural subsidy programs will not promote the expansion of agricultural land in protected natural areas and areas with natural vegetation. SAGARPA’s 2018 subsidy program for small and medium-sized producers explicitly promotes sustainable production techniques that mainstream the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.


Value Chains

The project Mainstreaming Biodiversity into the Mexican Agricultural Sector (IKI-IBA) promotes the value chains of vanilla in the Huasteca Hidalguense and tuna (prickly pear) in the State of Mexico through the ValueLinks methodology. This promotes sustainable production with a focus on valuing ecosystem services that will enable chain actors to reach agreements to promote sustainable production practices, add value to the product, and thus generate better income and product quality throughout the chain.


Three pilot projects are currently underway to reinforce biodiversity-friendly practices in selected areas:


All these pilot projects include training workshops on biodiversity monitoring and the exchange of experiences among producers.


Economics of Land Degradation initiative

The advisory services of the GIZ Global Project “Economics of Land Degradation” (ELD), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), provide further knowledge on soil protection and soil fertility in agriculture. Therefore, in collaboration with the project, seminars and workshops on the ELD methodology for land degradation assessment have been organized in Oaxaca and Mexico City for decision-makers and resource managers.


With this cooperation BMZ will provide resources to complement existing biophysical data on the condition of the Mixteca in Oaxaca with an economic analysis of development scenarios (e.g. costs of land degradation) in cooperation with local scientists, with the objective of using the experiences of this pilot project to adapt policies and programs at the federal and local level that promote the sustainable use of biodiversity.


Training of Trainers Workshop on Integrating Ecosystem Services into Development Planning in Agricultural Landscapes

The objective of the workshop is to provide the IES Ag methodology that allows recognizing the linkages between ecosystem services, well-being, and economic activities – mainly agriculture – as a crucial factor for development planning. It provides tools and methods to assess ecosystem conditions, trends, and risks, as well as to value priority ecosystem services. It facilitates the analysis of stakeholders and drivers of change and to identify policy options that consider the value of ecosystem services.


Financing mechanisms

Investment fund for regenerative agriculture

An investment fund for regenerative agriculture is being designed with the objective of capitalizing a fund that will enable the financing of agricultural projects focused on the regeneration of ecosystem services. The aim is to begin financing three pilot projects based on three strategic value chains for Mexico: banana, oil palm and mezcal agave.


Validation of three business models bankable by private investment.

Three business models (for banana, agave and oil palm) are being designed and reinforced in order to strengthen the practices and financial and logistical operability of these business models so that they can integrate and implement biodiversity conservation practices and technologies in their activities and thus be able to obtain financing from private and public initiatives.

On the other hand, three diagnoses will be made of the mango, tomato and citrus value chains in order to establish recommendations for improving the sustainability and innovation criteria and needs of the business models of these three groups of producers in Chiapas, and turn them into bankable businesses for Walmart and other potential buyers.


Inclusive and Sustainable Financial Education for the State of Puebla

A financial education module is being designed for producers in Puebla. As in the other mechanisms, training, and financial capacity building for producers in the Tehuacan Reserve and Zacatlán are being contemplated.


Contact:  proyecto.ikiiba[AT]