The SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) is the Federal Government agency in charge of driving the protection, restoration and conservation of ecosystems and natural resources, as well as environmental goods and services in Mexico, with the aim of fostering their use and sustainable development. www.semarnat.gob.mx
The Semarnat promotes awareness about the environmental problematic, fosters participation and widely communicates strategies, actions and the main results of the Federal Government in facing this global challenge.
The SECTUR (Ministry of Tourism, Secretaría de Turismo) has the mission of leading national touristic development through planning, fostering development of the offer, supporting the operation of tourism services and promotion, and articulating actions by different agencies and levels of government. www.sectur.gob.mx
The country has a huge potential for touristic development; therefore, the current offer has been diversified and priority has been given to the natural and cultural resources that Mexico has, so as to offer the visitor a different alternative than the sun and beach segment.
In this context, an important tendency towards growth in the activity with a high degree of care and protection of the environment has been marked.
Some actions carried out in matters of sustainable tourism are the following:
INTERINSTITUTIONAL COORDINATION AGREEMENT
This instrument was subscribed in order to bring together human and financial resources from 14 Federal Government agencies, in favor of economic development in the places with a vocation for the nature tourism segment (Sedesol, Semarnat, se, cdi, Conafor, Conanp, Sagarpa, sra, Fonaes, Fonatur, cptm, inah, Firco and Financiera Rural).
NATURA, ECOTOURISM ACOMMODATIONS IN MEXICO.
This is a program for competitive strengthening for the installation of ecotourism accommodations in Mexico. These actions directly benefit rural communities in the production of local consumables, operation of services and training
LACANDON FOREST ROUTE.
A product that integrates the mix of natural and cultural resources in the Natural Protected Areas of the rainforest in Chiapas; for this, low environmental impact infrastructure and equipment is implemented, which raises the quality of ecotourism services and incorporates the local community in the productive activity.
NATURE AND ADVENTURE ROUTE.
A tour that integrates the three destinations identified with greatest potential in Mexico for the nature tourism segment: Chiapas, Veracruz and Oaxaca.
MEXICO’S NATURAL SANCTUARIES.
This program integrates the land and marine sites that offer particular possibilities for studies and research of a certain species or natural phenomenon, whose observation and conservation can be manifested in a sustainable tourism attraction.
National Development Plan
This plan has the goal of establishing the national objectives, strategies and priorities that should rule the government’s action during the current administration, so that it may have a clear path and direction. The plan establishes the national objectives and strategies that will be the basis for sectorial, special, institutional and regional programs that stem from it.
Sustainable Human Development
A guiding principle for the National Development Plan is creating an atmosphere where abilities and opportunities can increase for present and future generations. The plan considers the person, his/her rights and the development of their abilities as the backbone for decision-making and the definition of public policies. Sustainable Human Development is proposed as a transforming vision for Mexico in the future and, at the same time, as a right of all Mexicans today, wherever they reside.
This plan articulates a set of objectives and strategies around five axes:
- 1. A State of law and security.
- 2. A competitive economy that generates employment.
- 3. Equality in opportunities.
- 4. Environmental sustainability.
- 5. Effective democracy and a responsible foreign policy.
The fourth axis, environmental sustainability, refers to the efficient and rational management of natural resources, so that improving the wellbeing of the current population can be possible without jeopardizing the quality of life of future generations.
Among the issues contemplated in this axis, there are:
- Sustainable use of natural resources (water, forests and jungles, biodiversity).
- Protection of the environment.
- Knowledge and culture for environmental sustainability.
Special Program for Climate Change (Programa Especial de Cambio Climático, pecc)
The Special Program for Climate Change (pecc) is a Federal Government initiative created voluntarily, unilaterally and with their resources, demonstrating Mexico’s interest in contributing to the solution of the climate change problem, which constitutes one of the greatest threats for the process of development, human wellbeing and integrity in the natural capital.
The program is transversal and commits all the Federal Government agencies in combating climate change with clear actions, goals and methodologies. It has national objectives and goals in mitigating and adapting to climate change for the 2008-2012 period, which represent opportunities to drive sustainable development, energetic security and clean, efficient and competitive productive processes, as well as to preserve natural resources. The pecc includes a long-term chapter, where options are set out with the prospective to reduce emissions by 2020 and 2050.
pecc takes into account five transversal instruments spheres:
- Foreign policy.
Mexico’s place in multilateral negotiations is centered on creating bridges for understanding, favoring consensus and fostering the creation of a multilateral financial mechanism, or “green fund”, to contribute to countries mitigating and adapting to climate change through financing projects and programs.
- Institutional strengthening.
The Federal Public Administration structure will be strengthened. The legal framework will be reviewed and adapted to align fundamental public policies in terms of national priorities related to mitigation and adaptation.
- Climate change economy.
The evaluation of sectorial and regional costs for adaptation and mitigation will continue, as follow-up of the Economy of Climate Change in Mexico study. Instruments will be developed for evaluating carbon in the national economy, particularly a national carbon market where a system of commercial permits for emissions and other possible regulations or fiscal mechanisms can coexist.
- Education, communication and participation.
The issue of climate change will be reinforced in formal education, the diffusion of climate information will be broadened, and federal entities will be supported in terms of climate culture.
- Research and technological development.
pecc will support the development of research capacities in matters of carbon cycle, national emission factors, low or neutral carbon energies, meteorology, long-term climate modeling, and integral risk management.
Through pecc’s 105 objectives and 294 goals, Mexico’s government attempts to prove that it is possible to mitigate climate change and adapt to the degree necessary, without jeopardizing the development process and even obtaining economic benefits.