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Criteria for the selection and design of climate change adaptation measures for Mexico

IWRA World Water Congress 2017 - Cancun Mexico
3. Water security in a changing world
Author(s): PEDRO ANTONIO GUIDO-ALDANA
ADRIANA MARÍA RAMÍREZ-CAMPEROS

PEDRO ANTONIO GUIDO-ALDANA
INSTITUTO MEXICANO DE TECNOLOGÍA DEL AGUA
pedroguido@tlaloc.imta.mx
ADRIANA MARÍA RAMÍREZ-CAMPEROS
CONSULTANT ON WATER AND ENERGY
ramirezamar@hotmail.com


Keyword(s): Climate change, adaptation measure design, public policy, sustainability, adaptation measure classification
Article:

Abstract

Worldwide, Mexico is one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change according to the National Commission for Knowledge and Biodiversity Use (CONABIO).  Its geographical location, climatic, orographic and hydrological conditions, contributes greatly to this situation. Fifteen million Mexicans are at risk to suffer directly flood effects and, at the other extreme, desertification could affect up to 40 percent of arable national area. Recently, vulnerability studies show that coastal populations are the most vulnerable because higher sea levels as well as the frequency and magnitude of hydrometeorological phenomena are expected. The devastating effects of these events have highlighted the necessity to propose, select, design, and inclusive assessment adaptation measures that enable people to adapt to new climatic conditions, which vary in different time scales and present own characteristics in each region and country. 

To develop efficient adaptation measures to climate change, it is a priority to consider various factors such as vulnerability itself, the ability to change our habits, the change dimension in climatic conditions, public policy issues, among others. It is also necessary to have knowledge about the impacts chain, the effect on the productive sectors (agriculture, water, energy, health, coastal, food production) and the so-called cascading effects through which it is possible to understand, for example, such as an environmental situation can trigger a social. Within this context, the design of the adaptation measure should at least consider: a) The definition of the problem; b) The identification of its causes; c) The identification and articulation of policy response; d) The identification of the main barriers of the measure, which are different for each region or locality; e) The formulation of expected results and the design of responses - projects to overcome key barriers; f) The revision of the above steps in order to ensure access to funds (e.g. Adaptation Fund, United Nations) and/or existing supports. These activities represent the minimum set in order to define a measure adaptation project with a logical structure, being crucial the experts consulting during the different stages and confirming the local context.

It is well known that the effects of climate change will affect all nations, in complex ways. In North America and particularly in Mexico, the vulnerability to climate change will depend on the effectiveness of the proposed measures, the adaptation time and the implementation of new policy schemes. Within this context, Mexico should work on the design of adaptation measures considering the ecosystem-based adaptation concept and also based on multiparty initiatives, to perform more ecological government solutions, in which communities and other public and private stakeholders should work together to achieve adequate adaptation and sustainable development.

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