Chiapas Mexico

Strategies and Policies

Climate Change Action Program (PACCCH) - Chiapas completed the first phase and entered the second phase of its PACCCH, which began in 2009. The Program includes objectives to involve researchers to increase scientific knowledge about climate change, complete state inventories of greenhouse gases, analyze the deforestation and forest degradation in the state, and analyze future climate scenarios. The program is supported by the Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Law of Chiapas (Decree 190/2013).

State REDD+ strategy (EEREDD+) - Chiapas has developed a draft EEREDD+ that will be used as a basis for consultation in priority regions (Selva Lacandona, Frailescana, Costa-Istmo and Mezcalapa). In addition, Chiapas considers timely action of REDD + (ATREDD+) and is part of the Emission Reduction Initiative (IRE) of the federal government with the FCPF.

Carbon Fund Investment Program of the FCPF - Chiapas has developed an investment program to reduce deforestation through Mexico’s Emissions Reduction Initiative of Mexico implemented within the framework of the Forest Carbon Partnership. The Emissions Reduction Initiative is based on four pillars: improving intersectoral coordination, actions to address the specific deforestation drivers of the site, and the development of policies and programs.

The State Development Plan (Plan Estatal de Desarrollo - PED) - proposes a basic vision for the development of the Strategy in three axes and seven public policies. 

Laws and Regulations

Decree no. 190 5/24/2013 - Law for Adaptation and Mitigation of Climate Change for the State of Chiapas - Originally published in 2010, but was replaced by Decree 190/2013. It provides a basis for actions to reduce deforestation in the state and promotes the Climate Change Action Program, which establishes the steps that the state government should take to build a REDD+ mechanism in more detail, and establishes the Inter-secretarial Exchange Commission.  

Decree no. 189 4/18/2009 - Environmental Law of the State of Chiapas - Establishes the regulatory framework for environmental issues for the State of Chiapas. Its objective is the conservation of biodiversity, the restoration of ecological balance, environmental protection, and the rational use of natural resources to promote sustainable development of the state, establishing the basis for issues such as indigenous rights and environmental protection.

Decree no. 145 10/20/2008 - Sustainable Silviculture in the State of Chiapas - Promotes the payment of ecosystem services (PES), including carbon sequestration, and declares, under Chapter 7, that all federal, state, and municipal funds for PES should be directed through the Forest Trust (Fideicomiso Forestal).

Decree no. 207 7/29/1999 - Law of Indigenous Rights and Culture of the State of Chiapas - Regulated by Article 7 of the Political Constitution of the State and its observance is of public order and social interest where the following protected indigenous peoples of the Chiapas State are recognized: Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Chol, Zoque, Tojolabal, Mame, Cakchiquel, Lacandón, Mocho, Jacalteco, Chuj, and Kanjobal.

Inter-Institutional Coordination Commission on Climate Change of the State of Chiapas (CCICCCH) - Presided over by the Governor and, in his absence, by the minister of the SEMAHN. The CCICCCH is composed of the ministers of the organs of the state public administration as presented in chapter IV of the LAMCCCH. The CCICCCH is responsible for government coordination in the area of Climate Change in the State of Chiapas and its resolutions and opinions are binding on the bodies that make up the state public administration (Article 15). The CCICCCH has several Working Groups (WG), two of which are related to the REDD+.

Climate Change Advisory Council of the State of Chiapas (CCCCCH) - Has the function of advising the CCICCCH and among its faculties is to follow up on the policies, actions ,and goals foreseen in the REDD+ Strategy.

The CCCCCH was created on February 25, 2014 and is integrated by the government sector through the Secretary of the SEMAHN (President) and the Under Secretary of Climate Change of the SEMAHN (Technical Secretary). It is composed  of 13 ministries of the state public administration, responsible for designing and implementing climate change policy in the state in accordance with the Law of Adaptation to Climate Change and Mitigation. 

Ministry of the Interior of the State (SECAM) - Directs, coordinates, and promotes compliance with the national and state plans, agricultural development programs, livestock and forestry, as well as development actions and policies of the state. SECAM also applies strategies and technological innovations to increase the efficiency of the agriculture and livestock sectors in Chiapas.

Ministry of Civil Protection (MPC) - Directs the actions implemented for the agencies of the Ministry oriented to integrated disaster risk management.

State Ministry for Indigenous Peoples and Cultures (SEPCI) - Promotes the recognition, respect, and full exercise of the collective rights of the 12 indigenous groups in Chiapas, people who represent the cultural wealth of our state and are recognized by the local constitution.

Attorney General of the State (PRO) - Represents  society in the investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes, with the principles of legality, honor, efficiency, security, and legal certainty, which allows a functional structure of the Attorney General's office, guaranteeing the integral development of the rule of law.

REDD+ Technical Advisory Committee - Comprised of local NGOs, academics, and federal government agents in social, technical, political, cultural, and environmental aspects of REDD+, including Pronatura Sur, the AMBIO Cooperative, the National Forestry Commission, the National Commission for Natural Protected Areas, ECOSUR, COLPOS, Na Bolom Cultural Association, The Nature Conservancy, Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, Conservation International, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Working Group on Monitoring and Monitoring Information (GT MRV) - A technical GT MRV consisting of a variety of government, university, and civil society stakeholders, which promotes the monitoring and measurement of emissions from deforestation in the state.

Territorial and Ecological Zoning Programs

The Ministry of the Environment and Natural History has developed Territorial and Ecological Zoning Programs in several regions of the state. The basis for zoning is described in Publication 1574/2010 and you can find a general desctiption of the progress here.

The Territorial and Ecological Zoning Programs are in various stages of development, as detailed below:

The Ministry of the Environment and Natural History has planned, published, implemented, or modified the Territorial and Ecological Zoning Programs in the following places at various stages of development:

The REDD + Safeguards of the UNFCCC reflect human rights, environmental and governance obligations, as well as commitments previously agreed upon in various international instruments to which REDD + countries are a part. Even before the Cancun Agreements, in the framework of the UNFCCC, as a result of discussions arising from the Bali Action Plan, countries recognized that activities to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in countries in development pathways "can generate related benefits and complement the aims and objectives of other relevant international conventions and agreements."

Safeguard: International Law

The wording of the REDD + Safeguard (a) of the UNFCCC is: "The complementarity or compatibility of the measures with the objectives of the national forestry programs and of the conventions and international agreements on the matter."

In order to understand and interpret the REDD + Safeguard (a) of the UNFCCC, it is necessary to examine the two main concepts that comprise it, as well as its implications:

  1. REDD + activities should complement or be compatible with the objectives of national forest programs.
  2. REDD + activities must complement or be compatible with the objectives of conventions and international agreements.

Complementarity or Compatibility with the Objectives of Conventions or International Agreements

The REDD + Safeguard (a) of the UNFCCC reaffirms the relationship between REDD + objectives and those of international conventions and agreements. Decision 1 / CP.16 states that all actors should "promote and support" the UNFCCC REDD + Safeguards, including the Safeguard, which requires that REDD + activities complement or be compatible with international instruments on the subject. REDD + countries must also show that they are "addressing and respecting" all safeguards, through the SIS, which in this case, will be necessary for countries that demonstrate that REDD + measures have been implemented by fulfilling the commitments made under of the relevant international instruments.

The above means that the REDD + Safeguard (a) of the UNFCCC in addition to ensuring that the measures to implement REDD + are carried out in a manner compatible with international obligations, the REDD + Safeguard (a) of the UNFCCC represents an opportunity for REDD + countries to guarantee better compliance with their international obligations. This implies the need to recognize and take measures to adequately complement and be consistent with relevant and applicable international conventions and agreements. Therefore, the countries that carry out REDD + measures must clearly identify the applicable and pertinent international agreements, and analyze to what extent the proposed REDD + activities complement or are compatible with the international conventions and agreements identified.

It is important to note that ensuring the coherence of REDD + measures with the relevant international instruments should not be seen as an additional requirement that countries must comply with in order to implement REDD +. The consideration of these international instruments will help countries to align the REDD + Safeguards of the UNFCCC with their current commitments and aspirations regarding the governance reforms necessary for the sustainable management of their forests, as indicated when ratifying the international instruments on the subject. By ensuring such coherence, REDD + countries will be able to implement the UNFCCC REDD + Safeguards based on an existing national system developed to comply with the relevant international instruments.

Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

Since its creation in 1919, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has paid special attention to the situation of indigenous and tribal peoples. In 1957, the first binding international instrument was adopted, the Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples.

In this regard, the Convention constitutes a key element in the ILO's action in favor of social justice, an objective reaffirmed in 2008 with the adoption of the Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization.

Convention No. 169 has two basic postulates: the right of indigenous peoples to maintain and strengthen their cultures, ways of life and their own institutions, and their right to participate effectively in the decisions that affect them. These premises constitute the basis on which the provisions of the Convention should be interpreted.

The Convention also guarantees the right of indigenous and tribal peoples to decide their own priorities regarding the development process, insofar as this affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or use in some way, and to control, to the extent possible, their own economic, social and cultural development.

When ratifying an ILO Convention, a member state undertakes to adapt the national legislation and develop the relevant actions according to the provisions contained in the Convention. It also undertakes to report periodically to the supervisory bodies of the ILO on the application in practice and legislation of the provisions of the Convention and to respond to questions, comments, or suggestions from those supervisory bodies.

As of November 2014, Convention No. 169 has been ratified by 22 countries, the majority of our region: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, as well as Denmark, Spain, Fiji, Nepal, Norway, the Netherlands and the Central African Republic.

On September 13, 2007, Convention No. 169 was reinforced by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted with a very large majority by the General Assembly of the United Nations. With this adoption, a process of more than two decades led and promoted by representative organizations of indigenous peoples was completed.

The Declaration consists of 44 articles that establish the minimum standards of respect for the rights of indigenous peoples, including the right to ownership of their lands, the natural resources of their territories, the preservation of their traditional knowledge, self-determination, and prior consultation. This Declaration also recognizes individual and collective rights related to education, health and employment. The Declaration is a basic reference that can be invoked to protect indigenous peoples against discrimination and marginalization to which they are still exposed and mutually reinforcing with Convention No. 169 by sharing objectives and principles.

Convention No. 169 is today a point of reference at the international level not only for United Nations agencies and international financial institutions, but also for regional bodies on human rights and national courts of justice.

In order to guarantee the rights of indigenous peoples, the provisions of article 6 of Convention No. 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples will be met, which states the following:

  • Article 6
    • In applying the provisions of this Convention, governments shall:
      • (a) Consult the interested peoples, through appropriate procedures and in particular through their representative institutions, whenever there are legislative or administrative measures that may directly affect them;
      • (b) Establish the means through which the interested peoples can participate freely, at least to the same extent as other sectors of the population, and at all levels in decision-making in elective institutions and administrative and other bodies responsible for policies and programs that concern them;
      • (c) Establish the means for the full development of the institutions and initiatives of these peoples, and in appropriate cases provide the necessary resources for this purpose.
    • The consultations carried out in application of this Agreement must be carried out in good faith and in a manner appropriate to the circumstances, in order to reach an agreement or obtain consent on the proposed measures.

The consultation has a procedural character through which the human and collective rights of the communities and indigenous peoples are guaranteed. The effect of a consultation carried out in accordance with ILO Convention 169 and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, is to achieve consensus among the parties.

Therefore, this process is an intercultural dialogue that takes place between indigenous peoples and government agencies that intend to implement an administrative medium or a project that affects indigenous peoples. The proper application of these mechanisms helps to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest as well as build inclusive and respectful development projects.

To achieve these objectives there is no single formula that can be applied in all countries and in all circumstances in relation to the implementation of consultations. Therefore, the nature and scope of the measures adopted to observe and guarantee the exercise of the right to consultation must be determined with flexibility, taking into account the conditions of the state, region or locality, indigenous people who are consulted, social, economic, political, cultural conditions, etc., to ensure the conditions for the establishment of agreements, or, of free, prior and informed consent.

In accordance with the situation in question, three levels of participation of indigenous peoples can be recognized:

  1. When the measure that concerns them is applicable to the entire indigenous population of the country, where there would be the right to participation;
  2. When administrative or legislative measures are likely to affect them directly, where the State has the duty to carry out prior consultation to reach agreements; and
  3. When the affectation is of such a degree in which case the consultation is not enough but the free, prior and informed consent is necessary.

According to the 169 of the ILO, free, prior and informed consent is required for the following cases:

  • When the project involves the transfer of indigenous peoples from their traditional lands (UN Declaration, Indigenous Peoples, Article 10).
  • When the project involves the storage or disposal of hazardous materials in their territories (UN Declaration, Article 29.2).
  • In the case of large-scale development or investment plans that could have a greater impact on indigenous territories (I / A Court HR, Saramaka vs. Suriname case, paragraph 133).
  • When it comes to activities of extraction of natural resources in indigenous territories that have significant social, cultural and environmental impacts (Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2010).

In order to carry out the definition of the arrangements for the distribution of benefits at the local level, a process of making agreements with the agrarian communities must be carried out, and in the case of indigenous peoples, consent will be sought, prior, free and informed, both processes through a participatory approach.

It will be guaranteed that the design and implementation of this methodology did not generate any type of exclusion. The process for making agreements or consent will be taken with the representatives of the intervention areas of the communities and indigenous peoples.

The Cancun Agreements, signed at COP-16 (Cancun, Mexico) of the UNFCCC, established the elements that must be developed by countries that want to participate in REDD + mechanisms, including the existence of a Safeguard Information System (SIS). In this meeting, in addition, guidelines for the design of REDD + mechanisms, known as "Safeguards of Cancun", were formulated.

The state of Chiapas has very special social and environmental characteristics, which must be recognized and guaranteed, such as the rights of local communities, indigenous and non-indigenous. Traditional aspects, biodiversity, and culture linked to these communities need to be addressed respecting traditional governance, full and effective participation, inclusive participation, providing opportunities for young people and women from communities, and promoting processes for rural development of sustainable lower emissions.