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. The project’s objective is to recognizing and integrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making and planning instruments of public and private key actors in the Mexican agricultural sector. Jointly with public and private actors, research institutes, FAO and UNEP, instruments for the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable land use practices will be piloted and integrated into selected agricultural production systems und value chains. The lessons learned, raised from analyses, conceptualization, and application of positive incentives for the promotion of sustainable land use practices, will be embedded in public policies and in practical examples in the pilot states with the aim of up-scaling these experiences to the policy level. This project promotes inter-sectoral dialogue and generates concrete examples for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture, which will feed into the international debate.

Project activities:

  1. The project has advised the Mexican Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) on the development of the Strategy for Mainstreaming Biodiversity for the Conservation and Sustainable Use into the Agricultural Sector. This strategy was approved in October 2017 and will be implemented with the support of the project.
  2. Exploratory outings to potential pilot regions have taken place to identify examples of production, ranging from traditional production of native maize to large-scale wheat crops, which may provide concrete examples of mainstreaming biodiversity into agricultural production processes. Criteria were developed based on SAGARPA’s Strategy for Biodiversity Mainstreaming for the selection of these pilot regions. These are located in the states of Oaxaca, Querétaro/Guanajuato, Jalisco and the Yucatán Peninsula.
  3. With the support of the project, the issue of biodiversity mainstreaming was institutionalized through the inauguration of SAGARPA‘s Center for Biodiversity Mainstreaming. The center will promote the exchange between sectors for the sustainable development of agriculture and is expected to establish a work plan within the next governmental period. Among others, the center will contribute to the implementation of the agreement between the agricultural and environmental sectors, which establishes that the agricultural subsidy programs will not promote the extension of the agricultural frontier into protected areas and areas with natural vegetation. SAGARPA‘s 2018 subsidy program for small and medium scale farmers for the first time explicitly promotes sustainable production practices that promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
  4. A national reunion of small and medium scale farmers took place with the objective of creating a network for the exchange of information about sustainable agricultural practices that promote biodiversity. Moreover, decision makers from the agricultural sector were invited to the reunion in which the social, economic and ecological contribution of these practices was demonstrated.

 

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