Constructing Public Policy in a Participatory Manner: From Local Carbon Sequestration Projects to Network Governance in Chiapas, Mexico

  • Celia Ruiz-De-Oña-Plaza
  • Lorena Soto-Pinto
  • Stephanie Paladino
  • Federico Morales
  • Elsa Esquivel
Part of the Advances in Agroforestry book series (ADAG, volume 8)


The Scolel Té project is a long standing experiment in carbon (C) sequestration through agroforestry and forestry systems. Developed in Chiapas, México, this project has evolved since 1996 into a solid model to manage C stocks in indigenous small farmer (campesino) landholdings, to be sold in a voluntary C market and to use the C credits for financing conservation and restoration activities. The experience of Scolel Té has matured into a well structured system for C transactions, the Plan Vivo System, which is now being applied in other countries of Latin America and Africa. This model of C marketing has been so successful that decision makers and other stakeholders from the environmental policy arena in Chiapas have decided to adopt and modify it with the aim of transforming it into a state wide program of ecosystem services: the Chiapas Program for Ecosystem Services Compensation (PECSE). The final design and implementation of PECSE is done by a policy network called Group of Ecosystem Services for Chiapas (GESE) — a group of public and private stakeholders. The challenges for GESE will be to overcome the internal problems of coordination and to develop a political lobby that would implement the PECSE. This effort, however, is triggering an ongoing environmental governance process with implications at local, national, and international levels that could reconfigure existing strategies to tackle the problem of climate change.


Climate change Carbon credits Environmental governance Policy networks 



Authors would like to thank Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología for support (EP-2004-C01-46244, FORDECYT-ECOSUR 116306) and to Ulises Ramírez Mijangos for data management, Sandie Fournier and Alexa Morrison from Plan Vivo Foundation for their comments on the final draft. We are also grateful to the two anonymous referees for the valuable comments, suggestions, and corrections made on a previous version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Celia Ruiz-De-Oña-Plaza
    • 1
  • Lorena Soto-Pinto
    • 2
  • Stephanie Paladino
    • 2
  • Federico Morales
    • 1
  • Elsa Esquivel
    • 3
  1. 1.PROIMMSEUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoSan Cristobal de las CasasMéxico
  2. 2.El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, ECOSURSan Cristóbal de las CasasMéxico
  3. 3.Cooperativa AmbioSan Cristóbal de las CasasMéxico

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