Following Mexico’s decision not to submit the technical annex on REDD+, the UN-REDD Programme prepared a technical document that enabled the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) to decide on two methodological scenarios to improve the robustness of uncertainty calculations, without missing the opportunity to access GCF RBP financing windows.
The programme conducted capacity development with SEPAL to support CONAFOR efforts to strengthen effective planning and implementation of REDD+ activities at a state level.
The programme developed a workplan for South-South cooperation in forest monitoring that has strengthened CONAFOR as a result of the Virtual Center of Excellence in Forest Monitoring of Mesoamerica becoming a major regional platform for consultation and virtual forums on MRV.
Through UN-REDD programme support, Mexico has continued improving its SIS, which can now generate reports on the seven Cancun safeguards. Protocols to produce condensed versions of these reports and to communicate them in a more accessible language, as well as to refine institutional arrangements for SIS operation, are also being developed with UN-REDD programme support. Mexico submitted both Spanish and English versions of its first summary of safeguards information (SOI) to UNFCCC in 2018.
The UN-REDD Programme has supported Mexico to use participatory processes for improving understanding among civil society on the legal ownership of carbon in order to implement the Carbon Fund agreement with the World Bank and the National REDD+ Strategy. The Government will promote adjustments to the forestry law, while developing short-term options to allow the appropriate distribution of benefits.
Mexico received the programme’s support to develop a map of financing sources for the National REDD+ Strategy. This was further analysed to build a road map at a national workshop with 54 participants (47 per cent women) in order to highlight the role of national and private banks. A South-South webinar organized between Costa Rica, Peru and Mexico on lessons learned from participating in RBP initiatives provided information on the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force actions carried out by states at subnational levels. A similar South-South exchange between Mexico and Colombia was organized to share experiences in the use of market mechanisms for forest conservation. Finally, the programme supported CONAFOR in assessing the feasibility of accessing the forest, LULUCF and RBP windows of the GCF.
An initial scoping of schemes to offset carbon taxes through forest carbon was prepared by the programme and a tax-offset scheme exchange with Colombia was organized. Legal analysis was undertaken to examine whether the existing forest law allowed for the issuance of government-backed or securitized green debt instruments. A review of instruments in the finance sector for sustainable agriculture models is being undertaken and will be completed in 2019.
Challenges and Solutions
Mexico’s presidential election and subsequent transition period resulted in the realignment of programme activities with UN-REDD programme support. Ongoing communication with the CONAFOR officials ensured that government priorities aligned with UN-REDD Programme activities. CONAFOR made the decision not to submit the updated FREL/FRL in January 2019. As such, the programme proposed a detailed timeline to be considered, enabling access to the GCF financing window for result-based payments for REDD+.
Gender and Social Inclusion
The legal analysis of emission-reductions ownership included gender- and youth-specific recommendations due to frequent marginalization in land-titling and decision-making processes. This was intended to help promote payments being directed to beneficiaries who do not have property titles on forest tenure, but who have contributed to REDD+ mitigation actions.
Mexico’s safeguards approach and the development of safeguards processes throughout 2018 has focused strongly on gender. Seven information sheets on REDD+ safeguards were revised for different sectors and recommendations were made to incorporate a gender approach. The information sheets highlighted the role of indigenous peoples, agricultural communities (ejidos) and other local actors, and included considerations for land rights and tenure as established in relevant legal frameworks. Mexico’s first SOI specifically considers gender, ejidos, indigenous peoples and communities in the interpretation of safeguards, and links its national circumstances, as a pluricultural and multilingual nation, to the legal framework governing land and forest resources.
The UN-REDD Programme promoted the participation of women during 2018. In total, 47 per cent of participants in the national finance workshop and an average of 35 per cent of participants in South-South cooperation events were women.
The UN-REDD Programme actively supports meetings coordinated by CONAFOR within the Climate Change and Forests Committee and the REDD+ Technical Advisory Committee, with participation of representatives from civil society and indigenous communities. These representatives provided inputs for analysing the ownership of emission reductions and the capacity for their transfer to the Carbon Fund.
The programme activities are supporting Mexico’s participation in the World Bank FCPF and BioCarbon Fund, as well as GCF results-based payments under the UNFCCC framework. The work on finance was closely coordinated with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), who co-organized the national workshop along with the UN-REDD Programme. The IDB played a catalytic role by liaising with key stakeholders from the private sector.
Linkages to SDGs
UN-REDD programme support in Mexico has strengthened the capacity of national and subnational actors to take action on SDG target 13.B on climate change-related planning and management through further capacity development related to the NFMS. SDG 5 (Gender equality) is being addressed through women and youth empowerment as part of Mexico’s safeguards approach. Financial-sector work undertaken during 2018 will ultimately lead to contributions to SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 15 (Life on land) through the further development of sustainable agricultural models in 2019.