An example for Mexico and for the Region

Good management in the Sierra Madre Oriental is key to reducing climate change and adapting to its effects


Climate change is a growing threat to Mexico’s protected areas, ecosystems and ultimately to its local population. In order to tackle this issue, the CONANP (Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas) developed in 2010 a climate change strategy for protected areas: ECCAP (Estrategia de Cambio Climático para Áreas Protegidas). The strategy focuses on how protected areas contribute to the ecosystems’ and the population’s improved adaptation to climate change. The strategic goal is to reduce Co2 emission while at the same time developing the carbon storage capacity by conserving and protecting forests and wetlands.

The central region of the Sierra Madre Oriental is one of Mexico’s Biodiversity Hotspots. It contains approximately 2,5 Mio ha. of priority ecosystems such as mountain cloud forest, endemic pine and oak forests, wetlands, deserts and xeric shrublands. These ecosystems are home to countless threatened or close to extinction animal and plant species, such as the Jaguar, the Black Bear, the Puma, as well as many different parrot species such as the Yellow-Headed Amazon parrot or the Soldatenara. As far as plant species go, there are the “elephant foot” or the “soyate” trees (Beaucarnea inermis or Beaucarnea recurvata), various ferns and the American Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). The region crosses over 6 States: Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Puebla and Veracruz. There are 4 Federal Protected Areas within the region: the biosphere reserve Sierra del Abra Tanchiba, the priority protected area around Xilitla, the protected area of the Necaxa River and the biosphere reserve of Sierra Gorda in Querétaro. It is planned to increase the numbers of federal, state and private protected areas.

The Approach

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) assists the CONANP with the implementation of the project “climate change and protected area management” CCyANP (Cambio Climático y Gestión de Áreas Naturales Protegidas) in the area of the “Sierra Madre Oriental” within the framework of the climate change strategy for protected areas. The Project is implemented within the framework of the international climate protection initiative (IKI). The goal is to develop and implement climate change reduction and adaptation measures in protected areas und priority reserves. This shall add to the biodiversity conservation of the region and increase the reduction and adaptation capacity of the area’s ecosystems and population.

The Impacts

On behalf of the BMZ, the GIZ assists CONANP with improving their management plans, in order to increase the capacity to adapt to climate change while also creating greater carbon storage. Many different actors from civil society, the public and the private sector are involved. The participation of a great range of actors and stakeholders is of utmost importance in particular for fire management, trainings, developing a climate and biodiversity monitoring system, and implementing adaptation and reduction measures.