On June 5, 2013, government officials in Mexico formally approved the Climate Change Act for the State of Chihuahua in Northwestern Mexico. The approval of this landmark climate change law was an important demonstration of Mexico’s continued commitment to promoting mitigation and adaptation actions.
The act was confirmed by the Chihuahua State Congress, taking into consideration the provisions of the country’s General Law on Climate Change published in April 2012, which includes the following objectives:
- Guaranteeing the right to a healthy environment and establishing the concurrence of powers of the federation, the states and municipalities in the development and implementation of public policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation of emissions and greenhouse compounds.
- Promoting a transition to a competitive, sustainable and low-carbon economy.
- Reducing the vulnerability of Mexico’s people and ecosystems against the adverse effects of climate change, and creating and strengthening national capacities to respond to the climate change impacts.
As part of the Alianza Mexico REDD+ (in English, the Alliance Mexico REDD+*), the Rainforest Alliance and its partners The Nature Conservancy, Woods Hole Research Center and Endesu contributed to the development and passage of the law by providing technical support to Chihuahua’s State Congress and helping the congress to build their capacity. We participated in workshops and facilitated sessions to explain the structure and content of the General Law on Climate Change, analyze the substance and structure of the Climate Change Act, and exchange knowledge and ideas regarding the ways in which the Act could successfully help address climate change adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gases.
In addition to setting goals to reduce GHG emissions and promoting a low-carbon economy, the Climate Change Act should serve as an instrument for raising funds to promote environmental stewardship. The act is also in compliance with international protocols like Kyoto and the UN Convention of Climate Change.
The approval of the Climate Change Act marks an important step toward aligning and incentivizing collaborative approaches that bring together regional and national policies and REDD+ projects and strategies.
*REDD+ stands for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. As the IUCN explains, “The objective of REDD is to support activities that enable reductions in CO2 emissions that are caused by deforestation and forest degradation. REDD+ also aims to strengthen and expand the role of forests as carbon pools. This can be achieved by supporting the conservation of forests, the sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks.”