The Initiative: TEEB Mexico
“The TEEB for Mexico Initiative”, also called “The Economics of Ecosystems & Biodiversity for Mexico Initiative”, was launched in 2014 and aims at reducing the pressures on and threats to natural resources by fostering the incorporation of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision making of the public and private sector.
TEEB Mexico aims at identifying and highlighting economic benefits derived from the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services and also seeks to assess the costs of the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the economy, well-being and social development.
The long-term targets of the initiative include (among others):
- Demonstrate the strong links between biodiversity and ecosystem services and human wellbeing.
- Underline the economic value of ecosystem services and biodiversity for the Mexican economy, social development and wellbeing.
- Integrate biodiversity and ecosystem values in a holistic manner in economy, legal and policy instruments.
- Identify best practices and provide policy recommendations for change.
- Recognize the importance of protected areas and invest in ecological infrastructure.
- Recognize and compensate benefits provided by biodiversity and ecosystems through the creation of markets and other market mechanisms (e.g. payments or subsidy reforms).
- Demonstrate the trade-offs between different types of land use and provide corresponding policy solutions.
The initiative seeks to achieve these objectives by providing political and economic evidence of the value of ecosystem services and biodiversity based on a biophysical analysis and economic valuation. The expected outcomes are policy and programme recommendations improving public policies and fiscal regulations, and providing instruments to decision makers and the private sector in order to take into account the important role of Mexican ecosystems and biodiversity for local and global wellbeing.
Additionally, TEEB Mexico and its evidence- and science-based analyses aim at contributing to the achievement of the Aichi targets and other internationally ratified conventions, such as the Paris Agreement or the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were officially adopted by the global community composed of 193 countries in September 2015.
Results are disseminated on the national, regional and international level within public and private sectors, the civil society, media, research centers, and other interested actors via the United Nations Environmental Program / UNEP Mexico´s Facebook page or through this website.
Background of TEEB for Mexico Initiative
The TEEB for Mexico Initiative (TEEB Mexico) dates back to the year of 2012. In October 2012, the first workshop on TEEB was jointly held by the Mexican Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the UNEP Mexico Office. This event created the basis for TEEB Mexico by demonstrating the importance of economically valuating Mexico´s natural capital and of making nature’s benefits more visible. This event stimulated a fruitful dialogue underscoring TEEB as viable approach to address the loss and degradation of biodiversity and ecosystems through evidence-based analyses while at the same time providing analysis and recommendations for combating poverty. Already existing TEEB-inspired projects in Mexico were presented, among others a national TEEB study by the National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) and numerous projects dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of protected areas, which are implemented by the National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP). TEEB was highlighted as a cross-cutting and cooperative approach integrating all relevant stakeholders of the private and public sector, academia, individuals and NGO.
Milestones of TEEB Mexico
The TEEB for Mexico Initiative was officially launched on 5 November 2014 by the Department of Planning and Evaluation of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, in cooperation with UNEP. The launch was attended by a group of international organizations and numerous Mexican federal agencies: some from the environmental sector (National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change, National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, National Commission for Protected Areas, National Commission for Water, and the National Commission for Forests) and others from related sectors, such as the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Territorial and Urban Development, and the National Geographic and Statistics Institute.
As follow up of said launch, in December 2014 a survey was sent to Ministries, international donors and foundations to inquire about (1) their interest in TEEB as well as (2) the sectors they would preferably see a TEEB study to be developed in. The ten organizations that submitted a response all expressed their interest in participating in the TEEB Initiative. Furthermore, based on the result of said survey, three sectors attracting the highest interest for conducting a TEEB study were identified: (1) forests and river basins; (2) natural resource management; (3) water and wetlands.
Based on the stakeholder´s interest in learning more about TEEB and analyzing the economic value of the biodiversity and ecosystems of Mexico’s forests, rivers, water and wetlands, the TEEB approach was integrated into a variety of biodiversity project proposals under the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) (decision on funding still pending).
Furthermore, an inter-institutional working group on ecosystem service valuation was created in 2015 and meets periodically, under leadership of the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT). The working group is composed of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources, National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change, the National Commission for Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity, the National Commission for Protected Areas, the National Commission for Water, and the National Commission for Forests as well as other federal agencies such as Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Territorial and Urban Development, and the National Geographic and Statistics Institute. The inter-institutional working group regularly exchanges information and presents new valuation initiatives in order to join efforts, strengthen capacities and contribute to policy coherence in economic valuation.
Additionally, thanks to the strong interest in TEEB and economic valuation of biodiversity in Mexico, UN Environment Mexico, together with FAO and GIZ, will conduct a TEEB Agriculture and Food Study (TEEB AgriFood) between 2017 and 2019. The International Climate Initiative Project “Mainstreaming Biodiversity into Agriculture in Mexico” seeks the integration of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-making and planning instruments of public and private key actors in the Mexican agricultural sector. In partnership with SAGARPA (the Mexican Agricultural Ministry) and SEMARNAT (the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources), as well as public and private actors, research institutes and civil society, GIZ, FAO and UNEP will implement instruments for the protection of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable land use practices.
A comprehensive analysis of the Mexican agriculture sector, its policies, programmes, as well as actors, will be the base line for a The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Agriculture and Food for Mexico Study (TEEB AgriFood for Mexico Study), embedded in the TEEB for Mexico Initiative. The study will provide an economic valuation of the ecosystem services important for the primary sector and showcase how they are affected by unsustainable agricultural practices. The study will develop policy recommendations for the integration of the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision making and agricultural practices in Mexico and GIZ, the UN and the Mexican Ministries will then integrate these recommendations into selected agricultural production systems und value chains through pilot projects.
Lessons-learned, collected from analyses, capacity-building, interaction with different actors, and the application of positive incentives schemes for the promotion of sustainable land use practices, will be embedded into public policies. At the same time, the project will promote inter-sectoral dialogue and generate concrete examples for the integration of biodiversity into agriculture. These examples, as well as recommendations and results, will feed into the international debate and support international and national targets (CBD COP13 results and mainstreaming targets, the Paris Agreement (by contributing to mitigation and adaptation), NDCs, SDGs 2, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 17 and Aichi Targets 2, 3 and 7). For more information, please go here.
The TEEB for Mexico Initiative aims at raising awareness on the importance of ecosystem services and biodiversity and to build capacity through studies on the valuation of ecosystem services, capacity building workshops, and a communication strategy for the mainstreaming the value of the natural capital.
TEEB for Mexico – through projects and working groups – seeks a true change for a greener economy, an inclusive society and more policy coherence.