Saving the Environment in Mexico
As Mexico progresses and works to pull itself out of “third-world” status, media attention mostly focuses on the economy, violence, drugs, poverty and immigration. Absent from much of the news is how Mexico is managing its varied and distinct ecology. The population of the country has grown from 26 million in 1950 to 114 million today.
Mexico’s ecology important for future
There are just 67 federally recognized national parks—ecologically protected areas managed by the government’s Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas—accounting for only 0.73 percent of the Mexican territory.
According to the CNANP website, there are no protected areas in southern Oaxaca and Chiapas, one of the most important ecological areas and home of the Lacandon rainforest and important jaguar habitat.
Some might feel it’s difficult to make a case for saving forests and animals when people in the same areas are suffering from poverty and unemployment. No doubt it’s a difficult balancing act for the Mexican government, but protecting natural resources is as important as helping individuals.