The Mexico Programme was formalized in September 2011 and has been since actively engaged in the construction of Mexico´s policies and legislation towards the creation of a National REDD+ Strategy. Through the programme, legislators are involved in a series of dialogues with relevant stakeholders such as forest owners, civil society and government representatives, and academia. The GLFI has proved to be a very useful and valuable forum to promote the legislative work to address deforestation and forest degradation by developing legal measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The GLFI team in Mexico is composed by Dr. Andrés Avila-Akerberg, Director of the GLFI in Mexico, Magaly Montesinos, Deputy Director and Julieta Lira, Legal Adviser. Additionally, the program is supported by specialists in forest legislation that provide the expertise for the legal work.
REDD+ reforms adopted by the Mexican Congress
Meixco is now the first country to have passed legislation to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
In April 2012, a set of legal amendments were approved by the Mexican Senate that set the precedent for empowering local communities to address deforestation. The amendments to an existing body of legislation focus on harmonizing the definitions of key terms, the development of economic instruments that benefit forest owners and forest land users, and the inclusion of REDD+ safeguards. The vote positioned Mexico as the first country to legislate on REDD+.
The legal amendments include:
- The definition in law of deforestation and degradation for REDD+ implementation purposes.
- The indication that all economic instruments (incentive and sanctions) will be considered as a means to promote environmental services, thus establishing a legal basis for new mechanisms that support the “who conserves pays” principle.
- The establisment of a link between the Meixan national forest inventory and the UN REDD+ Monitoring Reporting and Verification (MRV) system. This will be created according to the latest UNFCCC developments.
- The call on the Mexican Government to establish, in a period of no longer than three years, a national system for monitoring, registration and verification to evaluate and systemise emissions reductions
Legislative consultation workshops about REDD+ in Mexico
The GLFI Mexico Programme's Legislative Consultation Workshops ensure dialogue and direct consultation over the REDD+ mechanism between legislators and local communities of indigenous people.
The key objectives of the first workshop held in March 2012 were:
- To present to indigenous people the principal issues about REDD+ and existing related legislation.
- To translate the identified problems into legislation.
- To develop legislative reforms.
The Second Legislative Consultation Workshop took place in March 2013. The second workshop gathered over 30 representatives from CEIP, with relevant experience in community forest management that together accounted for around one million hectares of forest land, including representatives from tropical forests from the states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Chiapas. In addition, as most of the participants had also attended the first workshop, this event allowed being more specific in terms of recommendations for legislative reforms on these issues.
The topics discussed were:
- The importance of forests for climate change adaptation and mitigation
- Forest problems in Mexico
- Forest legislation to promote sustainable development
- Forest policy and budget
The next step of the Mexico programme will be to build from the conclusions of the workshop recommendations for legal reforms to promote the sustainable use of forest as a tool to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.