Achieving governance for adaptation with an ecosystem approach

Published: 08 March 2019
Last edited: 08 March 2019

The Advisory Council serves as a vehicle to escalate up to the Commission local experiences and evidence of the benefits of ecosystem based adaptation. To address adaptation challenges, it is governed by several criteria, among them: identify and reduce the vulnerability of society and ecosystems; consider climate change scenarios in territorial planning; study and strengthen the resilience and adaptive capacity of natural and human systems; take advantage of opportunities generated by new climatic conditions and; promote food security, productivity and ecosystem conservation. To facilitate the consideration of technical matters, the Council established 4 Working Groups, the last one being that for Adaptation. This latter Group hopes to consolidate a space for exchanges and multidisciplinary synergies, where its members can advocate for EbA. The Council's contribution to governance for adaptation will depend on the mechanisms it is able to facilitate for the integration of grassroots and civil society organizations (ejidos). If it also adopted a basin-wide approach to territorial management, and collaborated with the other Working Groups, it could build an even more collegial, ecosystemic and resilient governance model.


Alliance and partnership development
Communication, outreach and awareness building
Evaluation, effectiveness measures and learning
Legal and policy frameworks, policy advocacy
Scale of implementation
Phase of solution

Enabling factors

  • Having evidence of EbA effectiveness for mainstreaming EbA throught the Advisory Council: Community vulnerability studies and experiences in applying EbA measures in ejidos of the upper watersheds of the Coatán and Cahoacán rivers, and on the coast (Tapachula) were developed and shared with the Council.


  • Sharing the evidence widely to mainstream EbA: Studies were presented at VII National Congress on Climate Change Research, allowing for network-building, awareness-raising and experience-exchange on EbA effectiveness.

Lessons learned

  • A barrier to EbA implementation is financial resources. Reaching policy-makers to include EbA as a State development priority and assign budget remains a challenge. Despite Counsellors being open to leverage EbA approaches to policy-makers, there is still need for greater linkages between State’s climate change institutional system and watershed management organizations/resource management organizations.
  •  EbA can achieve greater impacts by complementing actions and recognizing synergies with other strategies, such as mitigation /emissions reductions (e.g. REDD+) and disaster risk reduction. This is relevant as a way to expand the Council's agenda, which has tended to focus more on mitigation issues.
  • To truly achieve multidimensional, ecosystemic, sustainable and participatory governance, these CC institutionality and grassroot organizations must demonstrate greater coordination over time, including the ability to jointly assess the effectiveness of adaptation policies and co-benefits for mitigation.

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