River Restoration for Climate Change Adaptation

The Project

River Restoration for Climate Change Adaptation (RÍOS) seeks to increase the adaptive capacity of people and ecosystems in watersheds vulnerable to climate change through river restoration.


RÍOS is the first project submitted by Mexico to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). It is financially supported by a GCF grant and complementary funding from the CONECTA project, financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The five-year project (2021-2026) is being implemented by FMCN, with technical leadership from the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC, acronym in Spanish) and two regional funds as executing entities: Gulf of Mexico Fund (Fondo Golfo de México, A.C.) in Veracruz; FONNOR, A.C. (the Northwestern Fund) in Jalisco.

FMCN is the first National Accredited Agency in Mexico by the GCF. In November 2019, we developed the first concept note for the project, which was approved by GCF, and in 2020, we developed the full proposal in partnership with INECC and the two regional funds. The proposal received the No Objection from the Government of Mexico (through the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit) in October 2020 and was approved by the GCF Board in March 2021. The project received the declaration of effectiveness in August 2021 and the first deposit in October 2021.

The lines of work (components) that guide RÍOS’s actions are:

  1. Increase forest and water connectivity with a vision of adaptation to climate change through restoration, conservation, and better productive practices. This component strengthens the capacities of local communities along the Ameca-Mascota watersheds in Jalisco and Jamapa in Veracruz to carry out activities that promote ecosystem-based adaptation through functional river connectivity. INECC has identified actions needed to reduce vulnerability to climate change through Integrated Watershed Action Plans (IWAP) built with local stakeholders. This component is implemented through subprojects financed with GCF resources and executed by selected local organizations to work with producers in the field and increase their capacities in the rehabilitation and restoration of forests along rivers; protection and conservation of forests; as well as the adaptation of productive activities that promote connectivity for restoration (agroforestry and sustainable livestock management). These subprojects comprise a portfolio of four types of schemes depending on the nature and objective of the activity: grants through request for proposals, pay for performance public-private payment for ecological services (PES), and enterprise development and access to credit. The project increases local monitoring capacities to assess and reduce vulnerability to climate change. RÍOS adapts existing methodologies to assess the vulnerability of communities in the project watersheds on an ongoing basis and to monitor the provision of ecosystem services (biodiversity, soil, and water quality). It provides subprojects with technologies and assistance to understand vulnerability and monitor project benefits and co-benefits. The project also has a "learning community" to exchange local experiences among beneficiaries and collaborate with national and regional actors to coordinate activities and achieve watershed connectivity.
  2. Aligning public and private investments through natural capital valuation to scale river restoration for climate change adaptation. The project implements coordination activities to align public and private contributions to scale up best practices. This is achieved through the alignment of local and national public programs related to restoration and adaptation, linking national opportunities with local needs. The project also contributes to an enabling environment for accessing dedicated lines of credit for sustainable and climate-resilient productive practices in livestock and agroforestry systems through enhancement and development.
  3. Design the guidelines of the National River Restoration Strategy (ENRR, acronym in Spanish) for climate change adaptation. Under the leadership of INECC, this component supports the design of the ENRR to strengthen climate change adaptation. It identifies relevant stakeholders for the design; establishes a Design Committee and its institutional arrangements; incorporates lessons learned from the intermediate results of components 1 and 2; develops workshops to define objectives, scope and guidelines for the ENRR. This component works with public officials and legislators to define the legal framework within which the ENRR is framed.

RÍOS is the first project submitted by Mexico to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Learn more about the Operating Manual


In the first half of 2023, the first workshops and baseline surveys were carried out for community monitoring of biodiversity and water quality in the states of Jalisco and Veracruz. The project's mission took shape in Veracruz, with the active participation of regional funds, INECC, and other strategic partners. As part of the RÍOS actions, training was also provided to the operational team on issues related to security and first aid in remote areas to strengthen institutional security protocols. Currently, consultancies have been formalized that will play a crucial role in community water monitoring, in promoting the National Strategy for River Restoration (ENRR), and in identifying the needs and key actors for the financing of projects focused on the regenerative livestock and agroforestry systems adapted to climate change. Regarding the ENRR, the Design Committee has been established, which has allowed the validation of the critical path for defining the guidelines, objectives, and scope of this strategy.

Learn more about the project in the Operating Manual.



  • Green Climate Fund
  • Global Environment Facility 


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

Environmental and Social Assessment

RÍOS prepared an Environmental and Social Assessment (EAS, acronym in Spanish) as part of the Simplified Approval Process (SAP) submitted to the GCF. 

RÍOS is considered by the GCF to be a Category C project, or minimal to no risk, and therefore has a positive impact on ecosystems, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of the people it benefits.

Click on the button below to learn about the Environmental, Social, and Gender Safeguards that will be used in RÍOS:


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

E-mail: denuncia@fmcn.org

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

Telephone: 55 5611 9779


  • 1. Where is the project implemented, and when did it begin?

    RÍOS is implemented in the Ameca-Mascota watersheds in Jalisco and Jamapa in Veracruz. It began in August 2021.

  • 2. How can I access the resource or register for the project?

    The calls for RÍOS subprojects were published in January 2022 and are now closed, so no new calls associated with subprojects will be opened. To learn about the project’s progress and results, we invite you to stay tuned to our website and social networks.

  • 3. Can the project be implemented in other regions?

    Eligible watersheds were determined in the project design. RÍOS is implemented in the Ameca-Mascota watersheds in Jalisco and Jamapa in Veracruz and is not expected to be extended to other regions.

  • 4. How are vulnerable populations and the gender approach integrated?

    The project's environmental and social safeguards and standards are key pillars. From its design, the project has been consulted with the watershed communities, and we have ensured to maximize the environmental and social benefits of the intervention regions. View the Environmental and Social Standards here

    RÍOS integrates the gender approach in a cross-cutting manner. We have a gender assessment and a Gender Action Plan for the project, with specific activities, indicators, and a budget. View them here.

  • 5. How can I learn more or support the project?

    To learn more about RÍOS, click here. You can write to info@fmcn.org to find out how your organization can contribute to this project.