Connecting Watershed Health with Sustainable Livestock and Agroforestry Production

The Project

The objective of the project “Connecting Watershed Health with Sustainable Livestock and Agroforestry Production” (CONECTA, acronym in Spanish) is to improve integrated landscape management and promote climate-smart production practices in selected watersheds in the states of Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco, and Veracruz.


CONECTA provides an opportunity to coordinate efforts to address the dual challenge of food security in the context of climate change. It has a landscape approach, focusing on watersheds vulnerable to climate change and affected by soil erosion.

The actions supported promote productive and environmental practices to increase the forest area under sustainable landscape management and improve livelihoods, water quality, and biodiversity. In addition, CONECTA promotes food production with low greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to meeting the commitments made by Mexico as one of the signatories to the Paris Agreement while simultaneously helping to address the great challenge of food security.

The five-year implementation of the project (2021-2026) is the responsibility of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC, acronym in Spanish), in charge of technical leadership, which forms CONECTA's Technical Committee, and FMCN, responsible for the fiduciary aspects. Three regional funds support the implementation: Gulf of Mexico Fund (Fondo Golfo de México, A.C.) in Veracruz; FONNOR, A.C. (the Northwestern Fund) in Jalisco; and El Triunfo Conservation Fund (Fondo de Conservación El Triunfo, A.C), in Chiapas. In addition, nine federal agencies participate in the project through the Coordinating Committee, which seeks to scale CONECTA's impact by aligning public and private investments.

CONECTA's funding comes from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), through the World Bank, and complementary funding (GEF co-financing).

The lines of work (components) that guide CONECTA's actions are:

  1. Development and promotion of integrated landscape management. Activities implemented under this component support the development and implementation of Integrated Watershed Action Plans (IWAP), including their application in public programs and private sector projects. The IWAPs are territorial planning instruments that identify the activities necessary to conserve the most critical ecological services in the face of climate change effects. The IWAPs were previously selected and tested within the framework of the C62 Project in seven of the 15 selected watersheds. These IWAPs are reinforced with a regenerative livestock component, and new IWAPs are developed with the same component. The IWAPs are expected to be a reference in the design or modification of instruments and policies related to sustainable livestock and agroforestry systems. Activities under this component include, among others, institutional capacity building and dialogue with key stakeholders in the watersheds at the regional and national levels, including the private sector.
  2. Strengthening business skills for sustainable livestock and agroforestry. This component strengthens formal and informal groups of sustainable livestock and agroforestry producers to increase their organizational and management capacity. Component 2 supports the provision of advisory services and technical assistance through the contracting of Local Technical Assistance Providers (PLAT, acronym in Spanish) to improve the management and organizational capacities of eligible beneficiaries to develop sustainable production business strategies (ENPS, acronym in Spanish). Beneficiaries can work at any stage of the production chain, including primary production (e.g., shade coffee), processing of sustainably produced meat/milk, and marketing in local, national, or international markets, as well as enterprises whose line of business adds value to the products, e.g., packaging cheese from sustainably produced milk or certified coffee.
  3. Conservation, restoration and implementation of climate-smart production practices in livestock and agroforestry landscapes. The activities of this component include the implementation of actions defined in the IWAPs. This increases the area of conserved and restored habitats and promotes good environmental practices for livestock and agroforestry systems. CONECTA launched an open call for grants to Local Legally Constituted Organizations (OLLC3, acronym in Spanish) that group landowners that receive financing and technical assistance. The supported activities include regenerative livestock practices, agroforestry, forest management of timber and non-timber forest products, restoration actions, such as soil enrichment and forest restoration with native species, and conservation actions, including support for voluntary conservation areas and payment for environmental services programs. The proposals supported have a gender perspective and will offer differentiated attention to indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant populations
  4. Project coordination, collaboration and knowledge management. This component focuses on project coordination and knowledge management. A national learning community promotes the exchange of knowledge and experience between basins. Forums in each state facilitate coordination between federal and local agencies, including the private sector. The forums organize training on topics of general interest, such as gender perspective or best labor practices.

CONECTA promotes the connectivity of livestock and agroforestry landscapes in watersheds in Chiapas, Chihuahua, Jalisco and Veracruz.

Learn more about the Operating Manual


In the first half of 2022, in coordination with the Technical Coordinating Unit and the regional funds, and with the technical leadership of INECC, progress was made with the IWAP of the La Antigua River watershed, which will serve as a pilot to refine the project methodology. In addition, the calls for subprojects and PLAT were disseminated through different channels; among them, 16 workshops were held in which 516 people participated, and more than 260,000 people were reached through social networks. Following the dissemination of the calls for proposals, 143 subproject proposals and 63 PLAT proposals were received. Of these, with the support of groups of independent experts and the monitoring of the Productive Landscapes Technical Committee, those that met the requirements were evaluated, and 30 subproject proposals and 14 PLAT proposals were pre-selected. Subsequently, contracts were formalized with the pre-selected organizations, and they were accompanied in the identification of possible risks and impacts and mitigation measures.

Learn more about the project in the Operating Manual. 



  • Global Environment Facility
  • World Bank


  • Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático 
  • Fondo Golfo de México, A.C.
  • FONNOR, A.C.
  • Fondo de Conservación El Triunfo, A.C.
Learn more about the project:

Environmental and Social Management Framework

CONECTA's Environmental and Social Management Framework (MGAS, acronym in Spanish) establishes, in general terms, the environmental and social guidelines for the project. It is complemented by four annexed documents, which include:

Stakeholder Participation Plan (PPPI, acronym in Spanish); Complaint and Consultation Care Mechanism (MAQC, acronym in Spanish); Procedural Framework for Involuntary Restrictions on Access to the Use of Natural Resources in Protected Areas (MP, acronym in Spanish); Planning Framework for Indigenous Peoples and Afro-Mexican Population (MPPI, acronym in Spanish).

The MGAS, with its appendices and supporting documents (annexes), is aligned with the Environmental and Social Standards of the World Bank's Environmental and Social Framework. As needed or as an opportunity arises, the MGAS will be a living document, subject to continuous review and improvement during the CONECTA implementation period.


To address any questions, clarifications, suggestions, complaints, or comments related to CONECTA, we provide you with the following means of contact corresponding to the project's Complaint and Consultation Care Mechanism. Your request will be treated with confidentiality, responsibility, and interest by the representatives of the project.


Postal address: Francisco Sosa 102. Santa Catarina. Delegación Coyoacan. CDMX. C.P. 04010.

Telephone: 55 5611 9779