Six years ago, the world came together in Cancun at the 16th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties (UNFCCC COP 16) to negotiate the climate agreement that would eventually become the Paris Accord. At that event, on their home turf, the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula signed a key agreement to work together to confront climate change. In recognition of the importance of their shared resources – Mexico’s largest intact swath of tropical forest, its broad natural shoreline, and the unique cultural legacy of the Mayans – Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo joined forces in order to better tackle the issues that threatened the whole Peninsula. It was one of many big announcements made by governments during that COP. What sets this agreement apart from many other such announcements made there, however, was that they actually achieved it.
Earlier this year, the three states of the Yucatan Peninsula announced that they had completed the commitments in that agreement, including finalizing strategies on REDD+ and climate adaptation, establishing a joint Commission on Climate Change and a Peninsula-wide forest monitoring system, as well as creating the Yucatan Peninsula Climate Action Fund. The three states, by committing to joint action and following through, have positioned themselves as world leaders in sustainable, low-emission, development. But they’re not done yet.
This December, the world gathers in Cancun once again - this time at the 13th Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 13). The three states of the Yucatan Peninsula will use the home-court advantage to make a big announcement – echoing their pledge at UNFCCC COP 16. Having laid the foundation over the past six years by undertaking analyses, creating governance bodies, consulting with stakeholders, and strengthening the necessary institutions, they are now ready to commit to large-scale action to transform the development pathway of the region into a sustainable, productive, competitive model for the world to follow.
On December 10th, the three Governors will announce the Yucatan Peninsula Framework Agreement on Sustainability for 2030 (ASPY 2030 for the acronym in Spanish).
ASPY 2030 promotes inter-institutional coordination at the state level, among the states, and with the national government, private sector, academia, financial institutions, civil society and international bodies to achieve low emissions growth and the successful implementation of existing sustainability strategies (REDD+, biodiversity, restoration, and coastal resilience, among others).