Protecting coastal urban regions

Project description

Title: Sustainable development of coastal urban areas through the integration of ecosystem services and biodiversity (BIOCITIS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mexico
Lead executing agency: Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)
Technical counterpart: Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Merida 24.08.2020_2


Mexico has more than 11,000 kilometres of coastline. The coastal area comprises 17 federal states and influences 265 communities, which accommodate nearly 40 per cent of the country’s population. Moreover, the coastal regions are important for the Mexican economy as they generate 36 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, beaches and lagoons are at the heart of this economic development and provide key advantages with regard to the climate and preserving biodiversity.

At the same time, the coastal areas are particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change, as protective ecosystems such as mangroves and coastal dunes are increasingly disappearing, with the result that nearby cities face a greater threat of flooding. Population growth and accelerated urbanisation are also putting great pressure on the coastal areas. Governmental institutions at national, state and municipal level need to cooperate with one another to ensure the protection of biological diversity and coastal ecosystems. They need to work together with the private sector and civil society in order to plan and manage the coastal regions in the long term. In this way, Mexico will be able to guarantee sustainable development and fulfil international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda.


The protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services in coastal regions is improved.

La Paz II


The project promotes the long-term, integrative and integrated development of certain Mexican coastal regions. To this end, it aims to optimise the management of 40,000 hectares of urban and peri-urban ecosystems in three coastal regions, implement local initiatives to protect and restore them and share the lessons learned with other coastal regions in Mexico.

The following measures are planned:

The project is implementing four new initiatives to protect and restore urban and peri-urban ecosystems. The initiatives are working together with civil society or the private sector to achieve this.

The project is strengthening the technical skills of local public officials. The aim here is to integrate the existing ecosystems into urban and spatial planning and to determine measures and infrastructures to protect and restore them. In addition, the project is expanding cooperation with other civil-society stakeholders and the private sector. This will enable further stakeholders and programmes to benefit from the enhanced capacities for improving the coastal areas.

The lessons learned in the pilot regions are to be incorporated into the urban planning of at least six other regional administrations.

Moreover, the project is developing participatory decision-making processes that take account of the needs of endangered groups such as indigenous peoples, women and young people.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The implementation is taking place with partners such as the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU), state and municipal governments, the private sector and civil society.

Last Update: Dezember 2020

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