The International Context

Mexico initiated collaboration with Canada and the United States through CONAGUA back in 2002 to create the North American drought monitor. Since then, several collaboration activities have been undertaken with international organizations, specifically the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for training and skills development for the Meteorological National Service (SMN), and CONAGUA's technical areas dealing with extreme events (flooding and drought).

During the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Cancun, Mexico, in 2010, the Mexican delegation proposed that water adaptation measures be included as part of the working agenda. This was a significant step in the paradigm change from mitigation to adaptation strategies, considering that climate change impacts are felt first during extreme events associated with water. The same proposal was made at different international forums (CONAGUA 2012b).

CONAGUA personnel participated at an experts meeting in 2011, Towards a Compendium on National Drought Policy, convened by WMO, George Mason University, the Environmental Science and Technology Center, the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC), and the United States Department of Agriculture (Sivakumar et al. 2011). The 2010-2013 drought was an event that impacted not only Mexico but several countries at different levels. At this meeting, experiences were shared, and the need for a paradigm reform of national policies was a major conclusion.

The experiences of Spain, the United States, Australia, India, and China were used in developing prevention and mitigation strategies for drought in Mexico. Special attention was placed on the California and Colorado experiences as well as the policies of some public water systems in Texas (City of San Antonio 2014; Colorado Water Conservation Board and National Integrated Drought Information System 2012; Sivakumar et al. 2011; WMO and UNCCD 2013).

While Mexico was designing the new policy toward drought, the High- level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) was held in Geneva in March 2013. The Mexican delegation participated and approved the documents emanating from that meeting, and they were used as a reference in the ongoing efforts to define the Mexican National Drought Policy (HMNDP 2013).

These efforts attracted the attention of the World Bank, WMO, Turkey, and Brazil and other Latin American countries, and Mexican experts attended several regional and international workshops and offered technical assistance.

Overall, the alignment of the severe drought in Mexico and the international efforts in which Mexico actively participated in national drought policy and water adaptation measures regarding climate change created a timely synergy for an interactive process incorporating local and international experiences.

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