Impacts of Climate Change on the Coastal Zone of Mexico: An Integrated Ecosystem Approach in the Gulf of Mexico to Support Coastal Zone Management Legislation

Case Summary: 

Coastal zones like the coast of Mexico are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten infrastructure and financial investments while storms and weather events threaten communities and lives. Mexico has over 11,000 km of coast areas that previously had no nationally administered adaptation strategy for climate change vulnerabilities.

In 2008 an integrated approach program to support coastal zone management was launched. This program had the end goal of providing recommendations to legislators for building coastal zone legislation. The program targeted five areas: mitigation, adaptation, stakeholder support, benefits to the community, and impacts to biodiversity.

The project is ongoing, but its analysis and recommendations have been completed. The project recommends:

  • Building an Environmental Strategic Plan (ESP) to guide the direction of state and national policy on coastal zone areas with a focus on hurricanes, floods, sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, and coastal erosion.
  • Producing a series of tools for implementation guidelines and monitoring programs to measure the current impact of climate change on the coastal region and estimate the mitigation implemented and required to protect against climate change effects.
  • Releasing data from the studies publicly and often to receive feedback before building recommendations. This quick feedback cycle allows for communities to contribute to the ESP and to have the most up-to-date data available.

Enabling practices in this project included partnerships with universities, science centers, agriculture groups, conservation groups, non-government organizations, and government entities.

Latin America and Caribbean
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Analysis and Data Collection, Governance and Stakeholder Engagement, Monitoring and Evaluation, Reviewing and Enhancing Ambition
Sectors and Themes 
Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE)
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