Memorandum of Understanding concerning Biodiversity Conservation Cooperation Particularly in Forest Resources between the Agency for International Development of the Government of the United States of America and the Secretariat of Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries of the Government of Mexico, Washington, DC, 1998
Done at Washington, DC 10 June 1998
Entered into force 10 June 1998
Primary source citation: Copy of text provided by the U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) of the Government of the United States of America, and The Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries (SEMARNAP) of the United Mexican States, (herein “the Parties”):
CONSIDERING that the meteorological phenomena that occurred in 1998 have created unprecedented climate conditions leading to a short rainy season with high temperatures and low humidity levels; low water levels; a prolonged dry spell; record-level high temperatures; AND an extraordinary number of forest fires in Mexico;
RECOGNIZING that in light of this, international cooperation has been provided from various institutions, among others, from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, principally to the Mexican States of Chiapas and Oaxaca, and especially to the Chimalapas region;
CONSIDERING that USAID intends to continue its collaboration through assistance for recovery and conservation in critical areas over the medium- and long-term in partnership with Mexico’s National Reforestation Program (PRONARE), the National Protected Areas System (SYNAP), and related programs;
CONSIDERING that the Parties recognize the need to continue cooperation on recovery, reforestation and particularly on the conservation of biodiversity ways will be sought to reduce the use of fire in agricultural practices such as in the preparation of soil for cultivation or as a way to increase agricultural boundaries.
RECOGNIZING the need to strengthen the conservation of natural protected areas, as well as their buffer zones and zones of influence that have been affected by forest fires, the need to focus efforts on restoration and sustainable use of these areas, and the need to mitigate future disasters;
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1.
The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to develop a Cooperation Program (“Program”) for Biodiversity Conservation, and in particular, for forest resources.

Article 2.
This Program includes the restoration, sustainable use, and conservation of areas affected by fires, concentrating on critical forest areas in Mexico.
Article 3.
a. The Parties agree that the funding of individual projects under this Program will be principally administered by the Mexican Conservation Fund (Fondo Mexicano para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza), taking into account other actions currently being carried out in the framework of PRONARE, the Parks in Peril Program, other donor projects, and programs of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in both countries.
b. All activities under this Memorandum of Understanding will be subject to the applicable laws of each Party and the availability of appropriated funds and resources.
c . This Memorandum of Understanding is subject to the June 27, 1951 Agreement between the United States of America and the United Mexican States on Technical Cooperation.
Article 4.
In order to develop a medium-term Action Plan for institutional development, the Parties will carry out the following diagnostic studies:
a) an analysis of the 1998 fire crisis as well as the response;
b) an analysis of the institutional capacity of the responsible authorities, especially SEMARNAP, in order to determine human resource, equipment, information system and training requirements as well as opportunities for national and international cooperation.
c) a specific analysis of the current situation in the Chimalapas region. A specific strategy is required for this critical region because of its tropical forests, its biological importance, its difficult access, and the degree to which it has been affected by the fires.
Based on the results of these studies, the Parties will prepare an Action Plan to address identified needs.
Article 5.
a. The Parties will conduct a review of agricultural and livestock activities associated with traditional swidden (slash and burn) practices. Alternative approaches such as agroforestry will be considered.
b. This review will require the identification of known and innovative strategies, methods, technologies and practices which are congruent with the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources and the environment.
Article 6.
To address the objectives outlined in this Memorandum of Understanding, the Parties will consider recommendations from Mexican Federal Public Administration agencies, State and Municipal governments, academic and research institutions, as well as public interest groups and non-governmental organizations in the development and implementation of existing and new programs for adopting new agricultural practices that respect biodiversity conservation.
Bilateral / Mexico 

Article 7.
The Parties will carry out an exchange and training program, to establish a mechanism for technical and financial cooperation with respect to fire suppression, as well as conservation of natural resources and environmental protection. The parties will prepare an Action Plan that will identify practical actions to be taken.
Article 8.
The Parties will explore the development of a program of individual projects and actions such as conservation, sustainable development in biodiversity-rich areas, and the mitigation of climate change through mechanisms such as forestry project investment by the private sector, voluntary climate change mitigation programs, the use of micro-credit, and other similar mechanisms and approaches under this Memorandum of Understanding. The Parties may conclude additional Action Plans that will outline the particular programs, set forth the terms and conditions, and identify the necessary human, financial and other resources.
Article 9.
Any difference that might arise between the Parties relative to interpretations or execution of this Memorandum of Understanding will be considered by common agreement between the Parties.
Article 10.
a. This Memorandum of Understanding will enter into force upon signature by the Parties, and will remain in force for five years and may be extended for an additional five-year period by mutual agreement of the Parties. Either Party may terminate this Memorandum of Understanding upon ninety days written notice to the other Party.
b. This Memorandum of Understanding may be modified by mutual agreement of the Parties.
Signed at Washington on the tenth day of June 1998, in duplicate, in the English language.

[Signature] [Signature]
J. Brian Atwood Julia Carabias Lillo
Administrator Secretary

1314 The Marine Mammal Commission Compendium