Breaking Convention in Mexico with the Open Standards for Regional Protected Area Planning

Story by María Fernanda Cepeda, Capacitación y Asesorías Ambientales

In Mexico, the conventional focus of conservation planning has been on individual visions by individual sectors of the government, but this year, we carried out a regional planning process with Mexico’s Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP for its name in Spanish) that used an integrated perspective and recognized that sustainable livelihoods are strongly linked to natural resources. Innovative? No, but this approach is unconventional compared to the country’s usual sectorial management. Our next challenge is to convince other governmental agencies from other sectors that their participation is crucial for the implementation of conservation strategies that will not only safeguard natural resources, but also contribute to sustainable development in the Coastal Plain and Gulf of Mexico Region. With 13 globally recognized public protected areas, which add up to over 65,516 hectares, this represents the most extensive region managed by CONANP.


Staff from Mexico’s Commission for Natural Protected Areas during the strategic planning for the 

Coastal Plain and Gulf of Mexico Region.

Photo by María Fernanda Cepeda, Capacitación y Asesorías Ambientales.