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

Since 2000, Mexico had made considerable progress in conserving its unique biodiversity and ecosystems by amplifying its National System of Protected Areas (SINAP). But despite the declaration of new protected areas (PA), there was, by 2015, no adequate increase in financial resources within the Mexican National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) that is responsible for the management and protection of the country's natural heritage. This lack of finance made it difficult to position Mexico's PA as a priority on the national policy agenda. As a consequence PA were under permanent pressure. Typical threats emanated from the expansion of extractive industries, road construction and the agriculture sector.

One of the main reasons for political decisions adverse to biodiversity conservation was that people still did not take into account sufficiently the multiple benefits that PA provide to human well-being and to the country's development, especially in economic terms, via the provision of "ecosystem services". Instruments and capacities lacked, in the environmental and neighbouring sectors, to integrate such ecosystem services adequately into decision-making processes.

EcoValor, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), took to increasing 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) supported CONANP in integrating the values of PA into decision-making at local and national levels, in various societal sectors, to improve the conservation of biodiversity. 

For strategic communication in order to sensitize stakeholders about the benefits from nature and the importance of investing in ecosystem conservation ECO Consult, in cooperation with WWF Mexico, administered the working line "communication and dissemination". We supported CONANP in elaborating a communication strategy with differentiated messages and in the implementation of adapted and innovative related instruments. The strategy worked to create a shared understanding of PA importance among a wide range of stakeholders, to promote alliances for conservation efforts.

After analysis of the perception of PA and their ecosystem services among different segments of Mexican society the project produced and disseminated videos, infographics and factsheets that demonstrated the value of nature conservation areas as they deliver multiple ecosystem services. Webinars on how to integrate ecosystem services assessment in decision-making, attracted over 2,800 members of the National Commission of Protected Areas in Mexico City and staff from protected areas management, as well as 1700 participants from Mexican universities and abroad. 

Time span
2015 – 2018       

Commissioning body           
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Cooperation partner
World Wide Fund for Nature, Mexico

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