Combating drought, land degradation and desertification
for poverty reduction and sustainable development

The contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices 

9-12 march 2015, Cancún, Mexico

Combating drought, land degradation and desertification for poverty reduction and sustainable development

The contribution of science, technology, traditional knowledge and practices 

9-12 march 2015, Cancún, Mexico

 

Mexico, the host country

The Government of the United Mexican States is pleased to welcome in the city of Cancun, Quintana Roo, the participants of the 4th Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology and the 3rd Scientific Conference of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

Information about Mexico

  • Official name: United Mexican States.
  • Capital: Mexico Federal District
  • Official language: Spanish.
  • Area: 1,964,375 km², thirteenth largest country in the world.
  • Population: 118.4 million people, eleventh most populated country in the world.
  • Economy: Eleventh global economy, for GDP volume (IMF, 2014). Recently, Mexico has implemented structural reforms, among which the most important are energy, telecommunications, fiscal, financial and labor.
  • Biodiversity: Mexico is the fourth of 17 mega-diverse countries which, together, host almost 70% of the known species on Earth.
    12% of the country area has a designation of protected area.
    In 2016, Mexico will host the 13th Conference of the Parties (COP 13) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
  • Forest resources: Mexico has a forest area of 138 million hectares, equivalent to 70% of the country, from which 64.8 million hectares have forest vegetation.
    Temperate forests, rainforests, mangroves and arid and semi-arid land are among the main vegetation areas in the country.
  • UNCCD Category: Country Affected Party, and member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Cancun information

  • Location: municipality of Benito Juarez in the state of Quintana Roo, in southeastern Mexico, at 1,700 km from Mexico City.
  • Population: 676,000 inhabitants.
  • Economy: touristic activities, Cancun is the main tourist center in the country.
  • Culture: Importantarea of the Mayan culture. Nearby archaeological sites are Tulum, Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

Mexico's commitment to the Convention process

Mexico was the first country to comply on the preparation of the UNCCD Action Plan to Combat Desertification in 1994 and the first to ratify the UNCCD in 1995.

The country has a National Strategy for Sustainable Land Management and a National Action Program Against Desertification.

In 2013, the study for the determination of the National Baseline of Land Degradation and Desertification estimated that 116 million hectares are affected. 63 million people live in this area, therefore the importance of strengthening and integrating actions for the reduction of natural resources degradation.

Mexico has developed a multi-sectorial institutional strategy for the prevention and control of desertification, 38 federal programs are articulated directly and indirectly for this objective.

On the operational side, the most outstanding programs that have been implemented are: reforestation, soil conservation, monitoring of drought, modernization of crop irrigation and development of waterworks for rainwater harvesting. There are also important social programs such as the National Crusade Against Hunger, which coordinates with the efforts of restoration and prevention of degradation.

Organizing Mexican institutions

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is the federal agency in Mexico responsible of promoting the protection, restoration and conservation of ecosystems, natural resources and environmental goods and services in order to facilitate their sustainable use and development.

  • Ministrer: Mr. Juan José Guerra Abud. He also chairs the National System to Combat Desertification and Degradation of Natural Resources (SINADES).

The National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR) is a federal institution sectoral to SEMARNAT, its objective is to develop, encourage and promote productivity, conservation and restoration in forest related activities and to participate in the formulation and implementation of plans, programs and policy for sustainable forest development.

  • Director General: Mr. Jorge Rescala Perez. He is also the Technical National Focal Point to the UNCCD.