Ecosystems Restoration & Ecological Connectivity at the heart of a Mexican and European dialogue

Inspiring GBF implementation at national levels!
Now that the Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) is adopted, the whole biodiversity international community is focusing on its prompt implementation. We now have less than 7 years to reach the 2030 goals and targets of the GBF and the clock is already ticking.

Ensuring constructive exchanges, sharing replicable and inspiring best practices in relation to the numerous topics addressed in the framework will enable to accelerate implementation at regional, national and local levels.

To that end, the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework–EU Support is supporting transformative initiatives in 10 countries including Mexico to provide support and technical assistance to key elements of GBF implementation.

Mexico, one of the world’s most megadiverse countries

First adopted in 2000, Mexico’s current National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (NBSAP) is being updated along six strategic lines: knowledge, conservation and restoration, sustainable management and use, factors related to pressures and threats, environmental education and culture, mainstreaming and governance.

In the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 (GBO5), Mexico stood out for having the highest rate of local and subnational government involvement in its national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAP). According to a 2011 study conducted by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), more than a quarter of the Mexican territory has lost its natural ecosystems. Grasslands are under threat by land-use changes and unsustainable agricultural practices, overgrazing, and crop clearing.

Mexico’s National Vision for the integrated landscape management and connectivity points out that conserving ecosystems connectivity is key to preserve the countries’ natural and cultural heritage, also taking into account intergenerational equity.

The country is facing the challenge to integrate the multiple aspects related to the conservation and sustainable land and sea use through measures on different geographical scales and levels of governance with the inclusion of all relevant stakeholders. Decisions need to be taken in coordination between different levels of government, fostering decentralisation in decision making and local governance in coherence with long-term national policies.

A study-visit to share best practices

As part of a larger study visit of Mexican government representatives in charge of environment to Europe, the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework–EU Support together with the project Bioconnect organized last June a Brussels dialogue with EU institutions and organizations.

The whole study took place between June 19-25, 2023 with a start in France. Ecosystems restoration and ecological connectivity were central to the discussions.

For 10 years, the AFD-funded project Bioconnect has supported the Mexican authorities in defining innovative models for the enhancement of territories and protection of biodiversity.

By strengthening inter- and intra-institutional governance, it has promoted cross-cutting public policies aimed at the sustainable management of territories and the conservation of natural capital.


Mexican local goverments representatives delegation during their study visit to the UE © Pierre Walter


Reciprocal sharing of experiences and needs

On June 20 2023, the Brussels dialogue aimed at providing reciprocal knowledge and best practice experiences:

  • showcasing the design and implementation of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework in the frame of the European Green Deal, especially biodiversity-related instruments such as the European Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Soil Strategy 2030, The EU Adaptation to Climate Change Strategy, the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan, etc.;
  • highlighting the pivotal role of subnational governments in the implementation of the Kunming-Montreal GBF (Target 12) and the European Green Deal with the relevant initiatives at EU level;
  • facilitating the exchanging of experience and plans between Mexican and European counterparts to implement the Kunming-Montreal GBF.

 “This is an invaluable opportunity to exchange on experiences in Mexico and the EU in relation to ecological connectivity and the implementation of the GBF and, at the same time, showcasing the essential involvement of subnational and local governments to ensure a whole-of government and whole-of-society approach when it comes to protected areas and sustainable landscape and seascape management practices” says Hugo Rivera Mendoza, team Leader of the Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework – EU Support project.

The Mexican delegation consisted of members of the federal government and representatives of the federal states governments in charge of environment (e.g. Secretaries of Environment), a representative from the federal parliament and of the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP). In Brussels, they met with high level authorities across the EU institutions and agencies and with key international partners engaged in subnational government mobilisation including:

  • the European Commission Directorate General for the Environment (DG ENV)
  • the Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA),
  • the Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD and REA)
  • the European Committee of the Regions
  • Regions4

As pair the French part of the study visit, it included meetings with the French Ministry of the Environment, members of the French parliament and several French regional representatives in order to present French governance modalities and the tools put in place on the French territory in favour of ecological connectivity.

In continuity with the Post-2020 Biodiversity Framework–EU Support project activities since 2018, this initiative is a good example of our project’s strong involvement in the LAC region and will surely pave the way for future SNLG mobilization on the ground to foster transformative actions for nature and people.

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