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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Education & Research | The Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
Student participation in watershed management plans for climate change (Juriquilla 2010)
Student participation in watershed management plans for climate change (Juriquilla 2010)

Feeding the state action programme for México

The Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro

Countries worldwide are adopting climate policies, including the development of greenhouse gas reduction inventories, the creation of state and local climate action and adaptation plans, and increasing renewable energy generation alongside ongoing intergovernmental negotiations. México’s Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro coordinates its State action programme for climate change.

The Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro (UAQ) is a public university with the overarching mission of “Educate in truth and honour”. It provides high quality education, in its various forms, to create competitive professionals at the service of society and to carry out humanistic, scientific and technological research for welfare and progress in its sphere of influence. The University is committed to support research and education related to the effects and causes of climate change as a regional, national and international issue.

The programme, created by a multidisciplinary team, focuses on mitigation and adaptation actions to be adopted nationally. The university is in the earliest phase, conducting a series of induction participatory workshops with different governmental, social and academic sectors. Groups have been divided into: biodiversity, agriculture, animal production, forestry, industry, transportation, water resources, tourism and health.

Workshops have examined climate change scenarios, and possible mitigation and adaptation strategies are being considered. Those carried out already include:

  • standardisation (criteria, thorough information, planning and self-regulation);
  • training capabilities for the group;
  • analysis of climate scenarios and experts from various sectors;
    greenhouse gas emissions; and,
  • an induction, training and dissemination workshop by sectors (agriculture, health, social) is in the pipeline.

Inventory good practice

The programme is also working on an estimation of the national greenhouses gas emissions inventory (GHI). The methodology used is aligned with the guidelines from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) for national greenhouse gas inventories (revised in 1996). This will be supplemented by current good practice drawn as a result of uncertainties over national GHIs to date. For example, in the case of land use and forestry, it will use the principles adopted by the IPCC in 2003.

Preliminary results from the inventory and assumed climate scenarios predict a difficult time for national water availability and severe impacts on the biodiversity of the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve and on agriculture. A significant decrease of extreme cool nights, strong precipitation fluctuations induced by el niño and niña effects and an increase in extreme storms have been detected in the data analysis. Climate-based scenarios for 2020, 2050 and 2080 used the Atmosphere/Ocean General Circulation Model (AOGCM). They incorporated precipitation and surface temperatures projected until the 2080.

As a result, future adaptation strategies are currently under revision. The state action plan also includes new approaches from research projects, focusing on watershed management strategies with participative planning for adaptation. Ecophysiological studies conducted on plants with crassulacean acid metabolism, CAM, (plants which fix CO2 at night and release it during the day), showed the night-time fixation has not been included in the carbon bonus projects for the region. Such inclusion will provide important income for economically depressed regions, usually arid environments rich in CAM plants.

Multiple institutions make a programme
  • The Schools of Natural Science, Chemistry, Business and Engineering, the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro;
  • CICATA centre, the Instituto Politécnico Nacional;
  • Centre of Atmospheric Sciences, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma
    de México;
  • Different research centres from CONACYT (CYCY, CIDETEQ);
  • Federal governmental agencies (SEMARNAT, CONAGUA and INIFAP); and,
  • Nongovernmental agencies such as the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve Group and AGROASEMEX.

The Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro logo
The Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro

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