Commission on Ecosystem Management

Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean

Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

Regional Chair: Rocío Córdoba
Co-chair:  Oswaldo Flores
SC Focal Point Central America and Mexico: Bernal Herrera
SC Focal Point Caribbean: Spencer Thomas

Country Focal points
Mexico Froilán Esquinca
República Dominicana: Lemuel Familia
Cuba: Reinaldo Estrada

States and Territories of the Region

Anguilla, UK - Antigua and Barbuda - Aruba, Netherlands - Bahamas - Barbados - Belize - British Virgin Islands - Cayman Islands, UK - Costa Rica - Cuba - Curaçao, Netherlands - Dominica - Dominican Republic - El Salvador - Grenada - Guatemala - Haiti - Honduras - Jamaica - Martinique, France - Mexico - Montserrat, UK - Netherland Antilles - Nicaragua - Panama - Puerto Rico, USA - Saint Barthelemy, France - Saint Kitts and Nevis - Saint Lucia - Saint Martin, France - Saint Pierre and Miquelon, France - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - Sint Maarten, Netherlands - Trinidad and Tobago - Turks and Caicos Islands, UK - United States Virgin Islands, USA

Objectives of the region

  1. Provide technical support and foster dissemination results of key knowledge products, including the Red List of Ecosystem, ecosystem based approaches to adaptation.

  2. Strengthening Commission membership and participation in the thematic groups.


CEM for Mexico and Central America  has been very active during the last three months of 2017. A series of Congresses at regional level as well as the COP23 that took place in Bonn, Germany were attended by CEM members in Latin America.

CEM, climate change and risk management in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico

CEM Regional Chair Rocío Córdoba presented during the 7th National Congress on Climate Change Research (5-7 October, 2017) organized by several institutions in Mexico, one IUCN member (Sociedad de Historia Natural del Soconusco) and IUCN’s regional office for Mexico, Central America and The Caribbean IUCN ORMACC. The participation of CEM representatives was fully sponsored by the organizers (UNAM) and SEMAHN (Secretary of Environment and Natural History of Chiapas, Mexico).

The Congress aimed to disseminate and discuss different impacts from climate change as well as risk to disasters as well as lessons learned from practice at local and national level to cope these impacts. At least 250 persons attended with some 50 students from Civil Protection (risk management) from Chiapas, Mexico.

CEM in the Water and Resilience stream in Central America... A Regional Forum.

CEM was part of the Central America Regional Water Forum: Actions for Resilience (see agenda in Annex 3). This was a high level forum for this region that took place 30 October, 1 and 2 November 2017 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. It was organized by IUCN ORMACC, the Ministry of Environment of Honduras and the Central America Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD). The objective of this event was: to analyze good practices and tools and to establish dialogues for enhancing water resources governance and address the challenges that the region has and will have on water and climate variability, from the local level to shared watersheds.

CEM Regional Chair for Mexico and Central America, was facilitating a high level panel on Effective Water Governance as well as lecturer on Ridges to Reefs approach (see presentation in Annex 4) during the forum. More than 100 people from different countries in Central America attended the event. Representatives from Ministries of Environment from several countries as well as from the Central American Integration System (SICA) were also present at the forum.

CEM as part of Biodiversity and Conservation in Mesoamerica.

In the framework of the  21st CONGRESO DE LA SOCIEDAD MESOAMERICANA PARA LA BIOLOGÍA Y LA CONSERVACIÓN (Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation Congress, CEM, together with other organizations put together two different Simposia: LOS SERVICIOS ECOSISTÉMICOS COMO MECANISMO PARA LA CONSERVACIÓN DE LA BIODIVERSIDAD Y EL BIENESTAR HUMANO and INTRUMENTOS PARA EL MANEJO DE LA BIODIVERSIDAD Y GOBERNANZA EN CENTROAMÉRICA: LISTA ROJA DE ECOSISTEMAS Y LISTA VERDE DE ÁREAS PROTEGIDAS. These simposia took place during the week of 30 October to 5 November 2017 in San José Costa Rica. Steering Committee member Bernal Herrera was part of the organizers and lecturers (agenda details can be provided by Bernal Herrera).

Central America had a voice in UNFCCC COP23 side events.

CEM Regional Chair, Rocío Córdoba was invited by the IUCN’s Environmental Law Centre to be part of two side events that took place in the framework of the COP23 in Bonn, Germany (10 and 12 November 2017).

The first side named: Strengthening legal and institutional frameworks for EbA counted with the participation of several specialists from different parts of the world including Dr. Angela Andrade IUCN CEM Chair. CEM Vice Chair talk about what are the main legal and institutional challenges for EbA in Mesoamerica stressing the need of empowerment of local communities as well as enforcement of the existing legal frameworks. 

The second side event dealt with the main legal challenges for water resources management and sustainable development. The name of the event was: Keep it Legal. Innovation Towards Climate Change. A presentation was made on the “historical journey” of water and climate change in Mesoamerica, starting from 2003 with the Water and Nature Initiative from IUCN to COP 15 in Cancun, Mexico up 2017 with a set of initiatives taking place in Central America on water and EbA (Annex 5). The vulnerability of Central America to climate change was stressed as well as the progress done by several organizations and governments in the region on including water, governance and climate change in the national and regional development agendas.

A webstory on the whole events during this “Legal Day” that took place 12 November 2017 in the COP23 in Bonn, Germany can be found in:


To achieve many of the above mentioned outcomes, collaboration with the following institution were established:

a) World Commission of Protected Areas
b) UICN Regional Office for Mexico and Central America
c) Mesoamerican Society for Conservation Biology.
d) Tropical Agronomic for Research and Higher Education Center
e) National Conservation Areas System, Government of Cota Rica. 
f) Provita, Venezuela
g) Tropical Science Center (Costa Rica)


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