During a virtual seminar the Forests, Biodiversity and Ecosystems (FBE) sector shares experiences from its projects regarding the governance of natural resources.

December 21, 2020. Every two weeks, farmers gather at the communal house in Cofradía de Juárez in Armería (Mexico) to exchange knowledge with representatives of the project “Articulating Global Agendas from the Local“, which is being implemented in Mexico and Brazil. The topics they discuss are related to the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) actions they implement, allowing them to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Alejandra Tenorio, project coordinator, participated in the virtual seminar “Emerging Lessons: Governance of natural resources at the local level to strengthen the implementation of NDCs in Latin America”, and explained that farmers see the progress of their work through a virtual platform, which allows them to track and monitor their EbA actions. These processes are similar for representatives of the private sector and the governments of both countries, through which they learn about the vulnerability of populations to climate change and identify who requires priority attention.

These activities bridge the gaps between the various actors, and promote synergies, challenges that are important to address in order to achieve good natural resource governance, understood as the set of rules, institutions, and processes that determine how to exercise power and responsibilities over the resources provided by nature.

“70% of the challenges in achieving the NDC objectives and which people continually mention are related to governance. Where we must see changes is from the local experience in order to bring and adapt it to global processes”, as Thora Amend, GIZ Consultant for Governance Analysis, explained during the seminar.

This type of governance establishes that decision-making should include women, men, indigenous peoples, and local communities, who ensure access and participate, and are affected by natural resource management.

For her part, Alejandra Tenorio also explained that the project she leads has implemented multi-actor participatory governance, and has so far managed to strengthen the capacities of more than 170 officials and key actors in EbA matters.

"Involving the private sector and mobilising civil society has been instrumental in developing EbA actions. In addition, participatory processes for farmers have improved governance and capacity building in municipalities. Aligning local NDC goals and integrating global goals into local development planning has been essential for the project," she said.

Seven recommendations for good governance at the local level

Through the experience of FBE sector projects, 7 recommendations for good governance were presented, shared during the webinar, which contribute to the NDCs and other national and international climate change objectives:

#1 Ensure adequate communication. Strengthen different channels for horizontal and vertical communication. Use appropriate, understandable, and attractive means and language for different actors working in different contexts.

#2 Strengthen cooperation with vision. Develop a shared vision among diverse actors and project partners; defining together the strategic direction of the approach for the measures and contribution to the actions defined in the NDCs.

#3 Improving internal coordination:  Develop and/or strengthen internal coordination structures, both strategic and operational, in an open and cooperative dialogue.

#4 Monitoring and reporting results:  Emphasise the importance of reporting project results and their concrete links to the NDCs. This will require adaptable reporting dynamics: projects directly contact sub-national governments and these report back to national actors so that project results are incorporated as part of public policy and NDC implementation processes.

#5 Increasing the involvement of technical actors: Technical actors (e.g., agricultural extension agents, water resource managers, planners, etc.) often interact with local populations and are very well informed about their contexts. In this regard, it is of great relevance to involve them along with the co-implementing organisations, in the discussion and dissemination spaces promoted by the central government regarding NDCs.

#6 Find project-policy links: Analyse how project activities are linked to policy objectives and activities at local, sub-national, and national levels, through logical frameworks or specific indicators that can be accounted for and added to country commitments and targets.

#7 Promoting synergies and advocacy: Create synergies with networks and platforms working with different organisations (e.g., NGOs, Community Base Organisations (CBOs) etc.) at the national level. The more synergies are generated with representative, organised and strong platforms, the greater the impact will be on central government (as opposed to opting for micro-platforms or project-specific groups).

More information

Virtual Seminar "Emerging Lessons: Governance of natural resources at the local level to strengthen the Implementation of NDCs in Latin America" available here:

Presentation of the seminar available here.