GEF Invests in Coastal Watershed Management in Mexico

World Bank21 November 2013: The World Bank has announced a US$39.5 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant to protect coastal watersheds in Mexico. The announcement follows a 13 November 2013 National Dialogue in Mexico City to identify and align best practices with national funding priorities. The project is intended to support local communities' efforts to address deforestation, land degradation and biodiversity loss adjacent to protected areas, including through payments for ecosystem services (PES).

According to the announcement, the project is unique in that it brings together four institutions in a public-private partnership. Institutions involved in the project include: the National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP); the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR); the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), and the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature (FMCN).

Organizers estimate that the project will benefit 100,000 people directly, and another 800,000 in-directly and will protect one million hectares of forest. Additional benefits will include the establishment of two new protected areas, reduced carbon emissions and the creation of watershed management plans.

The project will contribute to the implementation of the priorities for GEF investments identified through the National Dialogue, which included lessons learned and reaffirmed commitment to global responsibility and environmental sustainability.

On 25-30 May 2014, Mexico will host the Fifth GEF Assembly, which will define the working guidelines of the institution and its member countries for the period 2014-2018. [World Bank Press Release] [GEF Press Release]