Applied Research on Fomenting Renewable Energies
Increasing Forest Investment in Durango
At the request of the KfW Development Bank, the National Forestry Commission (Comision Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR) and the Trust Funds for Rural Development (Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura, FIRA), we will work with community forestry businesses in the state of Durango to design a business plan in association with a technical assistance program that permits them to increase production, improve environmental performance and consolidate themselves in national and international wood markets.
Designing a Finance Mechanism for REDD+ in Mexico. Diagnostic
The REDD+ approach in Mexico promotes sustainable rural development and integral landscape management. Mexico does not plan to implement REDD+ at the level of a single project or a plot of land but rather on a regional or landscape scale. This approach provides a great opportunity to improve the planning, coordination and implementation of public and private interventions at a regional scale.
However, it also requires significant management efforts and a strong political mandate to align public policies and private incentives towards sustainable production approaches.
This document explores the general routes for financing REDD+. It explores in detail how to incorporate REDD+ into agricultural and livestock policy criteria, specifically through the now extinct Program Supporting Investment in Equipment and Infrastructure (Programa de Apoyo a la Inversión en Equipamiento e Infraestructura, PAIEI).
Alternatives for Channeling REDD+ Resources at a Subnational Level
The first payment for REDD+ results in Mexico will be implemented within the framework of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), via a trust (Carbon Fund) which will directly interact with the Climate Change Fund (Fondo de Cambio Climatico, FCC) of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT). This document explores options for channeling FCC resources into the participating states: Campeche, Chiapas, Jalisco, Quintana Roo and Yucatan.
Application of the Options Assessment Framework to Evaluate a Country’s Preparation to Implement a REDD+ Benefit Sharing Mechanism
The World Bank’s Program on Forests (PROFOR) designed a methodology to help countries participating with REDD+ mechanisms and other financing in the forest sector to evaluate their degree of institutional preparation and to identify areas requiring improvement in order to achieve the ideal structure for implementing forest support mechanisms and sharing the benefits it produces.
Alongside PROFOR and the National Forestry Commission (Comisión Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR) we used, for the first time, the methodology designed to diagnose Mexico’s structural readiness for forest financing and benefit sharing challenges. The diagnostic covered legal, financial and institutional capacity and monitoring elements.
Analysis of Subsidies and Financing with a REDD+ Approach: Design and Interaction of Agriculture and Livestock Subsidies
Both private and public financing are fundamental elements for promoting activities with a REDD+ approach. This project identified a set of public subsidy programs that could finance sustainable projects. Several products were created, in particular:
- “Analysis of Trends in Agriculture and Livestock Subsidies and Deforestation in the Yucatan Peninsula in the 2008-2013 Period,” which analyzed the budget comportment and tendencies for three agriculture and livestock subsidy programs (PROCAMPO, Alianza para el campo, PROGAN) and deforestation in the Yucatan Peninsula; and,
- Guide to Finding Subsidies for Projects with a REDD+ Approach, which can be downloaded here.
Designing Investment Programs for Productive Restoration and Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation, Calakmul Sur, Methodology and Case Study
In the framework of the Emission Reduction Initiative for the Forest Carbon Partnership 11 investment programs have been created for REDD+ Early Action Areas in Mexico (Jalisco, Chiapas, Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan).
Our task is to recover the methodological experience of these 11 programs and to complement the tools created to facilitate the diagnosis and participative planning of the next phase of REDD+ planning at a regional level. We have also created a preliminary diagnostic of productive dynamics and deforestation at the border region between the municipalities of Othón P. Blanco (Quintana Roo) and Calakmul (Campeche).
Guide to Forest Investment in Mexico
The forestry sector in Mexico receives less than 1% of private financing in the form of direct credits. However, Mexico has enormous potential for sustainable forestry production and it is a country with community forest management practices that continue to innovate because of their organizational strength.
This guide provides a general outlook on forestry production in natural forests and proposes a series of principles to increase forest financing in the country.
Design Sustainable Finance Platforms
Yucatan Peninsula Climate Action Fund
The Yucatan Peninsula is a Mexican region with significant activity in climate change adaptation and mitigation. The state governments and a variety of national and international actors have a strong presence in the region.
We designed the Yucatan Peninsula Climate Action Fund in association with Ithaca Environmental, an entity responsible for managing national and international resources dedicated to advancing the sustainable rural development agenda, clean energy, water and other priority issues in the region.
The Yucatan Peninsula Climate Action Fund has an innovative institutional design that forms a solid structure, which operates based on the principles of plurality in decision making, transparency and professional management of the investments received.
Financial Instrument for Low Carbon Activities, Yucatan Peninsula
The design of a multiple financing instrument, which is composed of three elements: credit, a revolving fund for technical assistance and a guarantee fund. The objective is to facilitate producers’ access to commercial credit and guarantees, while simultaneously developing the business, technical and legal abilities that they are currently lacking.
Therefore, the instrument will be to lever climate investment funds to facilitate access to formal credit for producers with low carbon activities: apiculture, protected agriculture, sustainable livestock (ISS) and silviculture.
Designing the Chiapas Sustainable Rural Development Fund
Creating this fund is part of the institutional preparation to implement REDD+ and other financing schemes for sustainable rural development in Chiapas. The objective was to design a financing structure that permits private and public resources to be channeled into sustainable productive activities and conservation.
Applied Research on Financing Sustainable Rural Development
Constructing Value Chains: Using Agricultural and Forest Biomass for Energy Applications.
Industries that use ovens intensively have a fundamental role in reducing greenhouse gasses. Brickmakers, mescal and food producers (tortillas, bread, rotisseries) and the ceramic sectors are traditional economic units that use rudimentary technologies. These technologies have significant potential for improving their environmental performance, by substituting fuels and with simple improvements to the ovens.
In association with the Colegio de Ingenieros Ambientales de México and with funding from the Climate Change Fund of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT), we implemented a feasibility study evaluating the use of biomass for energy applications.
The study addresses the viability of using agricultural and forestry residues for making biomass blocks with a higher calorific capacity and better combustion than traditional fuels. At the same time as improving GHG emissions, using biomass creates an opportunity to generate income with assets that currently have no value in some communities. The study focuses on evaluating the use of sawdust and leaves/top of sugar cane harvested green.
Equity and Inclusion for REDD+ Benefit Sharing in Mexico
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (UICN), with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), have been implementing actions to support the design of pro-poor REDD+ benefit sharing schemes and supporting the national REDD+ preparation process since 2013.
In May 2015 we facilitated a workshop with experts in REDD+ development and actors involved in the Initiative to Reduce Emissions (IRE) to have a conversation about the development and evaluation of IRE Investment Programs, equity, inclusion, the selection of REDD+ activities and the challenge of including non-forest owners as REDD+ beneficiaries.
In this process we learned that the space where it is possible to reach a high level of equity and inclusion is through the development of Community Action Plans – through establishing criteria and conditions for their development. Links to a report on this workshop and an article below.
Facilitating Processes and Collective Knowledge Generation for Financing Sustainable Rural Development. The Project’s Challenges and Achievements
As a final step in the REDD+ Benefits project implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (UICN) to contribute to national REDD+ preparation processes, a workshop was held with project partners to collect experiences, key points, good practices, achievements and challenges. In the workshop we guided the participants in a reflection about the project’s execution to construct a collective retrospective vision of the knowledge generated and achievements of the project coordinated by UICN in Mexico.
One of the project’s most significant contributions was the proposal of legal and institutional options for REDD+ benefit sharing to include women and vulnerable groups, as well as including concepts such as equity and gender in REDD+ discussions.
In this workshop significant challenges that still need to be overcome were identified, as well as opportunities to ground the learning and results in new experiences, such as the IRE, to achieve a better incorporation of the project in the national REDD+ version.