Assessment of ecosystem services in natural protected areas (EcoValor) – Working line "Communication and dissemination"

During the last decade Mexico has made considerable progress in conserving its unique biodiversity and ecosystems by amplifying its National System of Protected Areas (SINAP). Nevertheless, despite the declaration of new protected areas (PA), there has not been an adequate increase in financial resources within the Mexican National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), responsible for the management and protection of the country's natural heritage. The lack of financial resources makes it difficult to position Mexico' PA as a priority within the national policy agenda. As a consequence PA are under permanent pressure. Some of the main threats emanate from the expansion of extractive industries, the construction of roads or the agriculture sector.

One of the main reasons for political decisions adverse to biodiversity conservation is that people still do not take into account sufficiently the multiple benefits that PA provide to human well-being and the development of the country, especially in economic terms, via the provision of "ecosystem services". Until now, there is a lack of instruments and capacities for integrating ecosystem services of PA adequately into decision-making processes within the environmental sector and other sectors.

The objective of the EcoValor Project, commissioned by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), is to increase the knowledge and to communicate the value of ecosystem services generated by federal PA in Mexico. By developing, promoting and implementing mechanisms and instruments of economic valuation, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) supports CONANP in integrating the values of PA into decision making processes at local and national level in different sectors of the society in order to improve the conservation of biodiversity and provision of ecosystem services. 

One of the most important preconditions for recognizing and integrating ecosystem services is a strategic communication of these values in order to sensitize stakeholders about the benefits from nature and the importance of investing in ecosystem conservation. The working line "communication and dissemination", implemented by ECO Consult in cooperation with the World Wide Fund for Nature, Inc. (WWF) Mexico, therefore supports CONANP in elaborating and implementing a communication strategy. Through the development of differentiated messages and implementation of adapted and innovative communication instruments the project aims to create a shared understanding of the importance of PA among a wide range of stakeholders in order to promote alliances for conservation efforts.

In order to create and implement effective communication campaigns and products, in a first step the project will analyse the perception of PA and their ecosystem services among different segments of Mexican society.

Time span
2015 – 2018       

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partner
World Wide Fund for Nature, Mexico