A dynamic tool for integrated land use and water management

Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Nauraleza, A.C.
Publicado: 26 Marzo 2021
Última edición: 26 Marzo 2021
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An integrated, dynamic and operative land use and water management planning tool has been created through an inter-institutional alliance for the design, development and implementation of “Integrated River Basin Management Action Plans” (PAMIC, using the Spanish acronym). Its vision is innovative, using water as a conductive element energizing the different management units in the basin. The modelling of hydrological services (i.e. surface water and sedimentation retention potential) permits the identification of demand and supply zones, connecting them through the collaboration of the river basin stakeholders. In addition, a permanent funding scheme has been created and implemented to ensure the continuation of the project´s actions through the subsequent government administrations.


América del Norte
Scale of implementation
Bosques tropicales de hoja perenne
Campos de cultivo
Connective infrastructure, networks and corridors
Ecosistema urbano
Ecosistemas de agua dulce
Ecosistemas forestales
Ecosistemas marinos y costeros
Humedales (pantano, turberas)
Río, corriente
Selva baja caducifolia
Actores locales
Adaptación al cambio climático
Financiación sostenible
Fragmentación del hábitat y degradación
Gobernanza de las áreas protegidas y conservadas
Manejo de cuencas
Ordenamiento territorial terrestre
Provisión y manejo del agua
Other theme
Fisheries and aquaculture
Forest Management
Lluvia errática
Degradación de tierras y bosques
Cambio estacional
Usos conflictivos / impactos acumulativos
Pérdida de ecosistemas
Desarrollo de Infraestructura
Falta de oportunidades de ingresos alternativos
Cambios en el contexto socio-cultural
Falta de conciencia del público y de los responsables de la toma de decisiones
Deficiente vigilancia y aplicación de la ley
Deficiente gobernanza y participación
Sustainable development goals
ODS 6 - Agua limpia y saneamiento
ODS 13 - Acción por el clima
ODS 15 - Vida de ecosistemas terrestres
ODS 17 - Alianzas para lograr los objetivos
Aichi targets
Meta 3: Incentivos reformados
Meta 6: Gestión sostenible de los recursos vivos acuáticos
Meta 7: Agricultura, acuicultura y silvicultura
Meta 11: Áreas protegidas y conservadas
Meta 15: Restauración de ecosistemas y resiliencia
Meta 19: Intercambio de información y conocimiento
Meta 20: Movilización de recursos de todas las fuentes
Sendai Framework
Meta 2: Reducir el número de personas afectadas a nivel global para 2030
Meta 5: Incrementar el número de países con estrategias nacionales y locales para la reducción de riesgos para el 2020.
Meta 7: Incrementar la disponibilidad de, y el acceso a un sistema de alerta temprana para múltiples peligros y a información y evaluaciones sobre riesgos de desastre para la población al 2030.


Cuencas del Golfo de México, México. | River basins in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Gulf of California, Mexico


  • Given the inevitable changes in the government´s policy and administration, which take place after each 6-year presidential election, it is fundamental to find ways to ensure that the planning instrument, PAMIC, can trascend such cycles and continue to be implemented by the following government at various levels.
  • Being able to maintain the support and operation of the planning instrument, PAMIC, via Civil Society Organizations, as well as the different levels of government in order to ensure that PAMIC is safeguarded and used to support decision making under different scenarios in more regions of Mexico.
  • To find sufficient resources to increase the number of river basins that can benefit from the implementation of a PAMIC.


  • Authorities have a planning instrument that promotes sustainable management and the organization of producers within river basins;
  • Local communities have received technical, financial and organizational support for improving productive practices.

¿ Cómo interactúan los building blocks en la solución?

At the centre of PAMIC is water - water is the conductive element that brings together the different actors. Building Block II "Creating a shared vision of land management through water" makes these connections by matching demand for hydrological services from land use managers with supply of such services from the river basin. This building block in turn provides the incentive for Building Block III "Key elements for the conservation of ecosystems are also anthropic". It aims to create an understanding among stakeholders that sustainable ecosystems need sustainable communities that live off of them, and thus will take care of them. Supporting both these blocks from the ground up is Building Block IV "Support from local institutions and grassroot organizations", which coordinates the vital support of local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the long-term mentoring of local communities. Finally, top down support is provided by Building Block I "Inter-institutional governance at different levels", which provides the institutional support framework in which the whole solution can function.


  • The inter-institutional coordination between the key environment sector government entities and national and international NGOs, as well as community groups, has strengthened the pathways of inter-institutional cooperation. It has created an important precedent for the sustainable management of resources.
  • With PAMIC, the river-basin scale land use and water management planning benefits from a vision of the connectivity between key zones of water supply and sediment retention, and key zones of demand for these services.
  • The conservation of ecosystems alongside the promotion of sustainable production has been key to sustainable community adaptation within the river basin.
  • Permanent funding has been assured for a large number of Protected Natural Areas (ANP, using the Spanish acronym).
  • A coalition of local NGOs has been achieved, creating synergies which have led to resource savings.


Starting with an inter-institutional alliance between government entities in the environment sector (Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático, INECC; Comisión Nacional Forestal, CONAFOR; Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas, CONANP), national and international funding organizations (GEF, Fondo Mexicano de Conservación de la Naturaleza), and a large network of twenty three local organizations and producers, the C6 project has brought to Mexican land use planning a new level of integration and operational management, in the form of “Integrated River Basin Management Action Plans” (PAMIC, using the Spanish acronym). Such plans seek to promote the connectivity between land and people by focusing on actions that permit the maintenance and conservation of key landscape elements that provide hydrological services. In this way, they can stimulate climate change adaptation processes. To achieve this goal, the plans were discussed within the project, whereby water was used as a conductive element to unite the different stakeholders in the river basin. As a result, it was possible to establish criteria and solid scientific foundations for modelling the land-use dynamics. Based on this, PAMIC has the following characteristics: i) a relational focus to identify the dynamics and externalities between sub-basin units; ii) an explicitly spatial approach to identifying what to do and where.; and iii) the identification of the relationship between supply of and demand for hydrological services between sub-basin units (zones).

The modelling of hydrological services (i.e. surface water supply and sediment retention) permitted the identification of zones in each basin that are important for the two types of services. Subsequently, these zones were coupled with information and perceptions from the basin stakeholders on the levels of production in the zones, their institutional norms, and socio-economic processes. This generated a shared vision of the basin and from here, a collective reflection on what should be done, how and by whom. These questions were the beginning of a process to create proposals for priority activities to maintain hydrological services, forests and production zones.

An innovative element has been the search for funding  mechanisms that can assure a permanent economic resourcing of projects in the medium to long term. Currently, there are eight river basins that have a PAMIC, and five more that are in the process of developing one.

Contribuido por

Imagen de CONANP

CONANP Mexico National Commission of Natural Protected Areas

Other contributors

Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático
Fondo del Golfo