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Transcript of iv. Programs containing measures of adaptation to of adaptation to climate change (impacts,...

  • iv. Programs containing measures of adaptation to climate change (impacts, vulnerability and adaptation)


    4.1 introduction

    Meteorological disasters have negative impacts on the population, environment, and various economic sec- tors. The magnitude of extreme meteorological events has increased and, while it is difficult to directly attri- bute this to climate change, Mexico is increasingly vul- nerable to extremes of weather and climate. The cir- cumstances of underdevelopment and inequality, both economic and social, are related to the increased vul- nerability of human and natural systems. The growth in vulnerability exacerbates the magnitude of impacts, increasing risks and the likelihood that disaster will ma- terialize. That is why it is alarming that there are pro- jections of a future climate very different from that of today, which will bring adverse impacts on both human and natural systems.

    Rainfall of more than 400 mm in one day,1 produced by cold fronts or hurricanes has had serious consequenc- es, mainly for the populations of Northern and Southern Mexico. In contrast, droughts, which occur on a recurring basis, affect agriculture and limit the availability of water for urban centers, causing social unrest. These examples of extreme weather and climate conditions prompt us to reconsider the way in which, up to now, natural re-

    1 The national annual average rainfall in the period 1941-2008 was 776.4 mm (SMN 2009).

    sources have been managed and development strategies followed.

    Temperature trends in Mexico (see section 1.1.3 of Chapter I) are consistent with those published at the global scale by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007). Increases in temperature, an ex- treme hydrological cycle and rising sea levels are already detectable in various parts of the territory. Although it remains to be confirmed whether these are signs of glob- al warming, there is no doubt we are moving towards a new climatic condition, which urges to define adaptation strategies, at local, regional and national level, that con- sider climatic variability2 and climate change.3

    Adaptation measures, as part of risk management in the struggle against climate change, are a component of the development scheme that every nation must consid- er. In Mexico, work is being done to identify the poten- tial impacts of global warming, to generate adaptive ca- pacities among key stakeholders and institutions, and to define mechanisms to implement actions of vulnerability reduction. Governmental efforts, together with those of

    2 Climate variability refers to variations in the mean climate state and other statistical data (such as standard deviations, the occur- rence of extreme events, etc.) regarding the climate at all temporal and spatial scales, beyond certain meteorological events. 3 A change of climate attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to the natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

  • 114 Fourth National Communication of Mexico

    academics and society, are aimed at planned, participa- tory and flexible adaptation.

    This chapter presents the main actions of Mexico re- lated to adaptation and analyzes the studies conducted after the Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Tercera Comnicación Nacional ante la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Cambio Climático/ INE 2006a), concerning the diagnosis of im- pacts and vulnerability to extreme climatic conditions. From these studies, adaptation measures are proposed in order to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on sectors and systems such as water, agriculture, biodi- versity, health, and energy, among others; the objective of these measures is to build capacities for adaptation.

    4.2 main adaptation actions considered in national and sectoral programs in mexico

    Adaptation constitutes a profound challenge for pub- lic policy, since reducing the vulnerability of people and their property, and of infrastructure and ecosystems, requires acting in the long term, and transcending the temporality of policies and programs. It is therefore im- portant to review and strengthen the planning system in order to look decades ahead, to transcend short-term re- active measures, and to be able to guide the spatial evo- lution of the economy and of human settlement and in- frastructure. The adaptation process must also consider the additional benefits that may arise from new climatic conditions, through the introduction of sustainable tech- nologies and business opportunities (Special Climate Change Program/ Programa Especial de Cambio Climáti- co, PECC, 2009).

    4.2.1 Actions of the Federal Public Administration

    The National Development Plan (Plan Nacional de Desa- rollo, Pnd) 2007-2012 is the basic planning instrument of the Federal Government with a scope of six years. The

    PND gives rise to sectoral, institutional, regional and spe- cial programs, in which the objectives, goals, strategies and policies to be implemented over the six-year period are specified.

    The fourth public policy central theme of the PND, environmental sustainability, specifically in the environ- mental section, states in objective 11 that the promo- tion of measures for adaptation to the impacts of cli- mate change is a priority for development planning in the country. To this end, four strategies are presented: a) to design and develop national capacities for ad- aptation, b) to develop regional climate scenarios for Mexico; c) to assess the impacts, vulnerability and ad- aptation to climate change in different socio-economic sectors and ecological systems, and d) to promote the dissemination of information regarding impacts, vulner- ability and measures of adaptation to climate change in different socio-economic sectors and ecological systems.

    In order to contribute to achieve the goals in rela- tion to mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and adapting to the adverse effects thereof, the Interministerial Commission on Climate Change (Comisión Intersecretarial de Cambio Climático, iCCC) (see Chapter III on institutional arrangements) has devel- oped the National Strategy on Climate Change (Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático, enaCC), presented by the President of Mexico in May 2007. The ENACC pro- poses lines of action regarding reduction of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change and stresses that adap- tive design against this phenomenon includes the instal- lation of some basic capacities in different areas to allow reaction to emergency situations and form an initial basis for the development of strategies and actions of adapta- tion with a preventive approach (CiCC 2007).

    The ICCC, through the Working Group on Adaptation Policies and Strategies (Grupo de Trabajo sobre Políticas y Estrategias de Adaptación, gt-adaPt), coordinated by the National Institute of Ecology (Instituto Nacional de Ecología, ine) of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Semarnat) identified, along with several units of the Federal Public Administration

  • Programs containing measures of adaptation to climate change 115

    (Administración Pública Federal, aPF), actions of ad- aptation to the major foreseeable impacts of climate change, which constitute an input in the development of the chapter on adaptation of the Special Climate Change Program (Programa Especial de Cambio Climático, PeCC ) 2009-2012.

    The PECC points out that Mexico gives equal weight to the tasks of adaptation to climate change and those of mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Regarding adaptation, the PECC presents public policies to address seven human and natural systems, and one that focuses on risk management. In short, 37 objec- tives and 142 goals of adaptation are proposed. In the same program, key elements of policies and transversal actions concerning climate change are presented, which accompany efforts of mitigation of GHG emissions and adaptation, such as foreign policy; institutional strength- ening; economics of climate change; education, training, information and communication; and research and tech- nological development activities.

    The vision of the PECC, regarding the adaptation and development of strategic capabilities up to 2050, con- siders three main stages (PeCC 2009):

    1. Stage of assessment of vulnerability and economic evaluation of priority measures. In the period 2009- 2012, its main product will be the design of a com- prehensive system of adaptation.

    2. Stage of strengthening national, regional and sec- toral strategic capacities of adaptation, from 2013 to 2030.

    3. Stage of consolidating the capacities construct- ed. Between 2031 and 2050, this will lead to the achievement of the long-term goals of adaptation.

    In the 2007-2012 PND, climate change is recog- nized as an environmental and developmental problem, such that some of the State Ministries, with support from the GT-ADAPT, have integrated considerations of adaptation and climate change scenarios into their work schedules and sectoral programs for 2007-2012. The following sections briefly describe the main programs and, where appropriate, the concrete actions that several

    government institutions have conducted in terms of ad- aptation. The information comes from the 2007-2012 sectoral programs, or was provided by agencies of the Federal Executive.

    4.2.2 Environment an