Governance for adaptation in Chiapas - Mexico

IUCN @ Fidel Montesinos
Published: 08 March 2019
Last edited: 01 October 2020
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Chiapas is mega-diverse and highly vulnerable to climate change. It is among Mexico’s lowest income States and with a mayority of population living in rural areas. In this context, local communities are implementing conservation and EbA measures, but further financial and improved participation and multilevel governance mechanisms are needed. 


This solution builds a multidimensional governance and participatory model (BB1) and uses an ecosystem approach (BB2). It strengthens the Climate Change Advisory Council of Chiapas (CCAD) which is the platform for public participation and consultative body of the Climate Change Inter-Secretariat Coordination Commission. The solution focused on reactivating this Council to become a bridge between policy-making and local adaptation action.


North America
Scale of implementation
Coastal forest
Forest ecosystems
Freshwater ecosystems
Marine and coastal ecosystems
River, stream
Temperate deciduous forest
Tropical deciduous forest
Wetland (swamp, marsh, peatland)
Ecosystem services
Food security
Legal & policy frameworks
Local actors
Outreach & communications
Sustainable livelihoods
Watershed management
Erratic rainfall
Increasing temperatures
Land and Forest degradation
Storm surges
Tropical cyclones / Typhoons
Poor governance and participation
Sustainable development goals
SDG 13 – Climate action
SDG 14 – Life below water
SDG 15 – Life on land
Aichi targets
Target 6: Sustainable management of aquatic living resources
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 10: Ecosystems vulnerable to climate change
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge


Chiapas, México


  • Chiapas is particularly exposed to hydro-meteorological phenomena, such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts, which have already caused human losses as well as high economic and social costs.
  • Between 1999 and 2009, Chiapas evidenced 21 disasters, with the agricultural sector being the most affected by climate events.
  • The current climate change bodies of Chiapas lack linkages with the state's watershed governance platforms, which hinders the integral application of EbA and basin-wide approaches.
  • Although the Climate Change Law of the State of Chiapas (2013) created the Climate Change Advisory Council, it remained inactive since its constitution in 2014, due to the voluntary (non-paid) basis of the Council members. This left a mechanism gap in the promotion of public participation in the adaptation and mitigation policies of Chiapas.
  • Decision makers are often not sufficiently informed regarding ecosystem services and their benefits for adaptation.


Climate Change Advisory Council which is active and has a Working Group on Adaptation.

Climate Change Inter-Secretariat Coordination Commission of Chiapas, advised by the Advisory Council.

Chiapas' inhabitants and organizations, who can participate.


How do the building blocks interact?

  • Chiapas is mega-diverse and highly vulnerable to climate change. It is among Mexico’s lowest income States and a large part of its population lives in rural areas. Thus, economic development and EbA may appear as competing objectives. Strengthening Chiapa’s climate change institutionality is strategic for mainstreaming EbA as a development objective in Chiapas and having budget assigned for EbA measures. Ejidos and watershed organizations in Chiapas are implementing EbA measures, but further financial support is needed. The Advisory Council is key to bridge the gap between policy-making at state level and adaptation needs at local level. Therefore, this solution has i) strengthened the Advisory Council and ii) shared evidence and experiences of EbA measures benefits.
  • Further work is needed for the Advisory Council to have a higher impact on influencing policy-making by informing on the benefits of EbA: i) to improve mechanisms for participation of Basin Organizations and Ejido representatives of the State of Chiapas and ii) to improve mechanisms for the integration of local and traditional knowledge in its work.


  • Activation of the Climate Change Advisory Council of Chiapas as a platform for informed and responsible social participation in policy- making.
  • Integration of a Working Group for Adaptation within the Council, in charge of leading discussions on adaptation actions at state level, including EbA.
  • Preparation of an Internal Regulation to set rules for the  participation and functions of the members of the Advisory Council and its Working Groups.
  • Public consultation for the REDD+ State Strategy led by the Council, where synergies between EbA and REDD+ were explored.
  • Collection and Processing of evidence on the benefits of Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) for food and water security (based on the experiences of implementing EbA measures in ejidos of the Coatán and Cahoacán river basins, both in the upper part and on the coast).

Contributed by

MARTACLAUDIA.PEREZ_36296's picture

Marta Pérez de Madrid