Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Urban Planning in Mexico

CSF, in partnership with GIZ, is providing technical and political guidance on how to integrate ecosystem service values into urban planning to the city governments of León, Mérida and Morelia.

These three cities are currently facing a number of challenges: a reduction in water quantity and quality, air pollution, soil erosion, flooding, unplanned urban expansion, and land use change. Protected areas and ecosystems surrounding the cities are key to addressing some of these challenges providing important ecosystem services like water provision, food, soil retention, and climate regulation. CSF’s role is to provide relevant information on the economic value of protected and sustainably managed ecosystems to support better urban planning, as well as information that could be replicated in other cities in the future.

We are working with the local government in each city, including the Municipality Planning Institute and other key stakeholders including water agencies, protected areas management teams, and land owners, to understand the problems each city is facing. Some key ecosystem services, like water provision, is a challenge faced by all three cities, but each city also has its own peculiarities and specific issues that need to be addressed.

In February 2019, CSF participated in workshops with the key stakeholders in each city. Using the information gathered during these workshops, we will develop a concept note for each city that describes the current state and future risk of key ecosystems, and how economic valuation could contribute important additional information for land use planning. The next step will be gathering data to understand the ecosystem service values relevant to each city and then conducting the valuation analyses. The results of these studies will inform public policy and urban planning within the municipalities.

This project is part of the Climate Protection Program in the Mexican Urban Policy "CiClim", financed by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and implemented by GIZ. CiClim provides technical advice and strategic support to promote sustainable urban development in Mexico, focusing on mobility, environmental, and social needs. The project partners work closely with the Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU), the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), and local administrations in Hermosillo, León, Mérida, Morelia and Tlaquepaque.

Photo: Merida from above

Photo Credit: Iren Key/