Area: 1.964,375 km²
Geography: Mexico lies between Guatemala and the United states, bordering the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Belize and the North Pacific Ocean. The different terrains, including high mountain ranges and low coastal plains, as well as plateaus and deserts inherit an equal variation of climate zones, ranging from tropical to arid. Tsunamis and hurricanes on the pacific coasts are common, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes are a result from Mexico’s location on the Ring of Fire. (CIA, 2019)
Land Degradation: The agricultural sector plays a crucial role in Mexican economy, employing 13% of the working population. Due to the lack of consideration of ecosystem services and their value in development programs and agricultural models, Mexico's agriculture has been, and is causing massive damages to the environment, resulting in a loss of 35% of forest and jungle areas over the past 20 years, with 81% of this loss being directly linked to harmful agricultural practices. Subsidy policies, ignorant of environmental issues, have led to a massive increase in degraded soils throughout the country (45% of Mexico’s land is severely or very severely degrade) and an accelerating loss of biodiversity. The current cost for depletion and degradation of natural resources in Mexico is estimated to amount to 5.7% of the GDP, with a rising tendency if action is not taken immediately.
ELD Case Study (on-going)
In cooperation with GIZs Project Mainstreaming of biodiversity within Mexican agriculture (GIZ IKI-IBA project) and local partners the ELD Initiative is conducting a study on agave use for Mezcal production in three districts in Oaxaca/Mexico. The report will be released in 2021.