The Mexican National Commission on Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) has been involved in natural heritage conservation for nearly fifteen years. It currently manages 13% of the territory. Despite the solidity of the government's biodiversity system, scientific reports indicate significant reductions in the country's natural vegetation cover, which now covers only 54% of its original area.
Mexico has seen the disappearance of biodiversity-rich ecosystems in recent years, including mangroves, wetlands, arid and semi-arid areas and some forests. The number of endangered species has increased by more than 25% in the last ten years.
The main causes of ecosystem degradation are deforestation, overexploitation and pollution, the introduction of invasive species and climate change. Biodiversity-related income is not sufficiently known, which partly explains the lack of awareness among the population and political decision-makers on the importance of the value of ecosystem goods and services. In addition, there are insufficient financial and human resources for Conanp to ensure the effective management of protected natural areas.
The project had three objectives:
- A biodiversity conservation policy through a series of indicators addressing the main challenges faced by Conanp.
- A technical assistance programme involving French and Mexican experts to carry out studies and diagnoses on new conservation methods, develop a territorial strategy and create brands and labels.
- A pilot project in the State of Jalisco based on the creation of an innovative tool for rural land management based on regional nature parks.
The expected impacts were multiple and related to several areas:
- Environmental with the preservation of Mexican natural heritage, biodiversity and ecosystems, particularly in the pilot state of Jalisco.
- Institutional thanks to the formation of a new way of managing territories.