Gender equality, full and effective participation of rural communities, respect for rights and traditional knowledge, as well as the application of the Prior Informed Consent principle, are among the goals that Mexico is aiming to achieve through its National Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ENAREDD+).
Through this strategy, Mexico has become the first country in Latin America to develop an action plan that incorporates these kind of equity considerations in the implementation of the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism, which is one of the efforts encouraged by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address this global problem.
In this context, the country has established the Mexican Program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (MREDD+), which is supported by a number of civil society organizations in Mexico, such as The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Rainforest Alliance, the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN by its spanish acronym), and the Woods Hole Research Center.
To carry out this effort, MREDD+ works at the national, subnational and local levels through four components:
1. Public Policy
2. Capacity building
3. Financial Architecture
4. Monitoring, reporting and verification
Additionally, MREDD+ will cover cross-cutting themes such as: pilot projects, social and environmental safeguards, gender equality, indigenous peoples and communications, which will be incorporated into activities and strategies.
According with Alvaro Luna, MREDD+ Project Director, the preparation for REDD+ in Mexico has allowed to carry out an ample public policy process to address the dynamics of change in land use in a comprehensive way, including the relation between gender and forests, which is essential to achieve the REDD+ vision for rural development in Mexico.
IUCN support for gender mainstreaming
In order to effectively mainstream gender in its actions, MREDD+ has signed a collaboration agreement with the Global Gender Office of the International for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). One of the objectives of this collaboration is to develop an Action Plan that promotes the incorporation of a gender perspective in the context of REDD+ in Mexico.
Accordingly, the Global Gender Office of IUCN has supported MREDD+ to create the “Action Plan for Mainstreaming Gender in REDD+” (PAGeREDD+, by its spanish acronym).
The work carried out by IUCN included an analysis of the legal and institutional framework on gender and REDD+ in Mexico.
Additionally the IUCN team identified and analyzed the capacities of various sectors (government, academia and civil society) in Mexico to ensure that ENAREDD+ supports equality between women and men from the design phase through to implementation.
Once institutional capacities were identified and analyzed, IUCN organized a technical workshop from the 11th to the 12th of March 2013, in Mexico City. Through this workshop, civil society organizations and implementing partners of the MREDD+ program increased their knowledge and skills in terms of mainstreaming gender effectively.
Subsequently, during 13-15 March 2013, a multi-sector and participatory process was conducted with the aim of defining criteria, priorities and gender considerations as input to the development of the PAGeREDD+.
The PAGeREDD+ should be understood as a guiding instrument, evolving as it is implemented, so that progress made during implementation will provide inputs for the future.
Mexico and REDD +
Alongside Brazil, Mexico is one of the two largest and most megadiverse countries in the Americas. Hence, the Government of Mexico has expressed its commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and has recognized the importance of conserving, managing and restoring forest ecosystems and the invaluable environmental services that they offer. Thus, the country has initiated a progressive, participatory and multisector platform to prepare its National Strategy for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ENAREDD+).
The ENAREDD+ will help to mitigate GHG, promoting policies, programs, measures and actions that should be incorporated in planning instruments for sustainable development.
These efforts by Mexico respond to the discussion initiated in Bali in 2007, during the Conference of the Parties (COP 13) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The negotiation process saw a significant advance in Cancun (COP 16) in 2010, including REDD+ as part of the agreements and deciding to continue discussions on the issue at Durban (COP17) in 2011 and in Doha (COP18) in 2012. In this sense, Mexico is also following the international agreements regarding the inclusion of a gender perspective in the REDD+ mechanism, which has been part of the Conferences of the Parties described above.