As Mexico is a megadiverse, multicultural country and highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach is being integrated into national instruments to select high-impact adaptation measures that contribute to reducing vulnerability and fulfilling the Paris Agreement.
In October 2015, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) – with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, through the Mexican-German Climate Change Alliance – presented the first version of the Methodology for the Prioritization of Adaptation Measures against Climate Change. This document considers the list of criteria contemplated in ENCC 10-20-40 and involves the economic evaluation of each of the contemplated adaptation measures. Since then, it has served as a guide for the development of the State-level Climate Change Programs (PECCs) and Climate Change Adaptation Programs (PACC) in Protected Natural Areas (NPA).
Considering Mexico’s megadiversity, both in climates and ecosystems, the Update of the Methodology for the Prioritization of Adaptation Measures was presented in 2018, with the integration of the EbA approach as its main feature. This approach addresses the country’s potential to reduce its vulnerability, and that of its population, through the sustainable management of resources, the restoration of ecosystems, and the conservation of biodiversity.
The methodology contemplates a participative process at each stage, involving all the actors that benefit from ecosystem services. In addition to functioning as an exercise in transparency and governance, the methodology demonstrates the potential of prioritizing EbA measures at a sectoral level, and even a private sector level, in response to the potential impacts to their productive activities caused by climate change.
Other great benefits of emphasizing the EbA approach in the selection of adaptation measures are the integration of local knowledge and the contribution to disaster risk reduction. Furthermore, EbA projects can be more cost-effective and accessible compared to other gray adaptation measures (construction of infrastructure and/or engineering works); this in turn favors the access to the portfolios of projects applicable for some type of green financing.