Five Initiatives Preserving the Wealth of Mexico
A brief list of projects protecting the country’s greatest treasures: its ecosystems and their inhabitants.
The life which springs up in all corners of the planet make it a unique place in the universe. We who inhabit the Earth live surrounded by ecosystems and forms of life endowed with a breathtaking beauty. Nature, moreover, possesses an implicit wisdom which connects all living beings on this Earth: silent networks of exchange warning that the damage humanity has done to the environment can only be an evil done to humanity itself.
Worldwide figures are alarming, and Mexico is no exception. To conserve the planet’s ecosystems and reverse the damage already caused so far, we have to work together: communities, scientists, creators, humanists, and governments need to work hand in hand. The task is immense, demanding simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts. On one hand, we need to remedy the damage caused in recent centuries. On the other, we need to generate projects in the present to allow ourselves to think of a more hopeful future.
Today more than ever, it’s essential to pay attention, and to celebrate initiatives that work, day by day, to remedy, protect, and conserve natural spaces in Mexico, and all the beings therein.
Speaking of the Wealth of Mexico
After centuries of scientific research, in the late 1980s, a group of UN experts met to compare biological information on the flora and fauna thus far collected on the entire planet. After careful analysis, an interesting pattern emerged: just a few nations turned out to be home to a high percentage of species. Most of the natural wealth was divided among 17 countries qualified as mega-diverse. Among these, Mexico comes in fifth place.
Mexico is home to 12% of the species known on Earth. It ranks second in reptiles (804 species), third in mammals (535 species), fifth in amphibians (351 species), and eighth in birds (1,096 species).
If that’s not enough, many of these species are endemic; that is, their life cycles begin and end here. A wonderful example of this can be seen in the family of cacti: 40% of cacti, including 70% of magueys are species native to Mexico.
After years of depredation, the world finally managed to act. In 1992, an Earth Summit drew a convention of world leaders who focused on conservation and drafted an agreement on the sustainable use of biodiversity.
Since that time, thanks to the foundation of the CONABIO, Mexico began to encourage projects aimed at protecting ecosystems. The objective was to combine ideas and to allow knowledge of the country to be put into hands of its citizens. Thanks to this effort, thousands of programs have been created to rescue animals from extinction, conserve rare plant species, protect ecosystems, and etcetera.
For all these reasons, we’ve selected five conservation initiatives that are part of the change toward action and generosity.
A non-profit organization, this one began in 1990. It’s been exclusively in charge of the conservation of ecosystems and wild species in Mexico. The association, made up of a multitude of scientists from Mexico’s National Autonomous University, operates by purchasing land in strategic areas to preserve ecosystems. Projects range from those providing for the conservation of the Mexican gray wolf and the Sonoran jaguar, to the permanent monitoring of nature reserves around the country.
The Mexican Center for Environmental Law, for more than 28 years, has been dedicated to pursuing the defense of natural resources through legal means. The mission is to enforce the right of all Mexicans to a healthy environment. The organization’s achievements include promoting the General Water Law of 2012, actions to reduce Mexico’s gas emissions by 50% by 2050, and a program to safeguard the country’s forests, among other measures.
A Mexican civil organization dedicated to recovering and promoting the sustainable development of Mexican communities. To achieve this, Beta-Diversity forms alliances between people, governments, and private investment groups to improve the co-existence between humanity and nature.
Since 2004, Beta has worked to conserve the Revillagigedo National Park (an ocean archipelago and Mexico’s last frontier) and care for the gray whale. Beta also joined forces with the Pico de Orizaba Environmental Fund and created educational projects in the Amanalco-Valle de Bravo watershed.
Sal a pajarear is an initiative to learn about and value Mexico’s immense variety of birds. The project, created by La Vaca Independiente, is about bird watching. Children and young people from communities in Yucatan and Jalisco become aware of and learn about these animals and their tremendous importance. This is not only because of the role they play in pollination and pest control, but also because as with all animals on Earth their extinction would be a tremendous loss.
Fundación Transformación, Arte y Educación, and La Vaca Independiente have been working to get people to rethink daily waste generation. The goal of the project is to find a shared solution to the great problem of household waste. Every year La Vaca Independiente organizes a series of actions for children and young people, accompanied by parents and educators, to reflect on their relationship with the pollution we produce every day. It’s an invitation to generate less garbage and recycle more.