Mexico NCAVES National Forum
The High-level Forum on Ecosystem Accounts, organized by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT), marked the conclusion of the four-year EU-funded project, Natural Capital Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (NCAVES), in Mexico.
The Forum, attended by 175 participants, presented the main results of the project in Mexico including a roadmap towards institutionalization of the accounts with the active involvement of government stakeholders such as the Central Bank (Banco de Mexico), the Ministry of Finance (Hacienda), the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) and various environmental agencies (e.g. CONAFOR, CONABIO, INECC, etc.) and non-governmental agencies including academia.
Mr. Julio Santaella, president of INEGI, remarked the importance of the ecosystem accounts in decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation.
Ms. Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said that the LAC countries are at a decisive moment for the implementation of ecosystem accounts and urged for interinstitutional collaboration and regional cooperation.
Mr. Stefan Schweinfest, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division, underscored how the experience of this pilot project contributed to advancing the global methodology that led to the adoption of the SEEA Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA EA). “The standardization of the SEEA EA ensures that countries will now use the same methodology, providing high-quality and comparable data”, he said.
The ambassador of the European Union in Mexico, Mr. Gautier Mignot, anticipated that the results of the project will be an inspiration for the Mexican government and other stakeholders to continue developing the SEEA EA in Mexico and support the mainstreaming of biodiversity in national policy.
During the event, Ms. Graciela Márquez, Vice-president of Economic Information of INEGI, presented the main results of the pilot project in Mexico. Mexico focused on the compilation of terrestrial ecosystem extent and condition accounts at national level and the valuation of five different ecosystem services: carbon storage and sequestration; provisioning of crops; pollination; water supply; and nature-based tourism. These results have been published by INEGI in Spanish in the report Ecosystem Accounts of Mexico, Results of the NCAVES Project (English version of the report can be found here including a policy brief).
Ms. Paloma Merodio, Vice-president of Geographical Information of INEGI, added that the use of innovative tools and technologies, such as earth observation and the geospatial data cube implemented by INEGI, will help the compilation of ecosystem accounts.
Mr. Cesar Rodriguez, Director-General of Planning and Evaluation of SEMARNAT presented a roadmap towards the institutionalization and development of the SEEA in Mexico through a committee for economic-environmental accounts as part of the National System of Statistical and Geographical Information, thereby ensuring multistakeholder engagement.
The Forum concluded with a round table where each of the participating institutions offered their perspectives on the importance of developing a system of ecosystem accounting through an interinstitutional mechanism, coordinated by INEGI, that would bring together producers and users of statistics for the continuous development of accounts and its mainstreaming to support policy needs in all sectors.
The NCAVES project in Mexico was implemented under the leadership of INEGI, in collaboration with SEMARNAT and a range of other national stakeholders.
The NCAVES project, funded by the European Union, was implemented in five countries- Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa with the support of the United Nations Statistics Division and the UN Environment, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity (SCBD).
Results of the NCAVES project in Mexico can be found in INEGI website here.
Press release by INEGI: https://www.inegi.org.mx/contenidos/saladeprensa/boletines/2021/OtrTemEcon/ForoCapNat_21.pdf
Press release by the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR):
Press release by ECLAC:
Media uptake in Mexico: