Sunday, 8 November 2009

Protected Natural Areas in Mexico

Marrakech, Morocco

I am reading a report on Mexico’s potential to conserve and sustainably use its biodiversity. Issued by the country’s National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), with support from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), it is an impressive compilation of perspectives on protected areas, community conservation, forestry certification, payment for environmental services and other aspects of conservation.  The establishment of protected areas – such as national parks and biosphere reserves – is an important approach to in situ conservation, which means preserving ecosystems, landscapes and species where they are found rather than in new places such as botanical gardens and germplasm banks.  Mexico has set aside nearly 24 million hectares of land and forest in protected areas, which corresponds to 12.2% of its national territory.  While impressive, a more important question is the overall success of these conservation areas. The National Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) recognizes many protected areas are deteriorating despite efforts to conserve them.  The CONABIO report argues that working effectively with local communities is an important way of rectifying the situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment