Mexico loses 10,000 hectares of mangrove every year

135

The organization exemplified that Mexico is the fourth country with the largest extension of mangroves.

The organization Costa Salvaje warned that, facing the next elections, it is essential that the environmental issue, and particularly the protection of oceans and coasts, becomes a priority issue for the next administration.

Costa Salvaje exemplified that Mexico is the fourth country with the largest extension of mangroves and also one of the first with the highest deforestation rates, as it is estimated that 10,000 hectares of mangrove are lost per year.

“This is the last six-year term we have to stop climate change, before it reaches catastrophic levels, we have to act with impact. It is our last chance.

“Mexico is a country highly vulnerable to climate change. Although it has a tool to face it, with the fourth place with the largest surface of mangrove in the world, it is cutting down 10,000 hectares of mangrove per year,” denounced the organization.

In the context of World Wetlands Day, celebrated on February 2, the NGO highlighted that wetlands, especially coastal wetlands, including mangroves, are essential to fight against climate change, and also to adapt to it.

Mangroves store up to 10 times more carbon dioxide than terrestrial ecosystems such as the tropical rainforest. In addition, these are natural barriers against storms, floods, hurricanes, and rises in sea level.

In the face of the growing threats of climate change, the protection, conservation and restoration of these ecosystems is increasingly important.

In that sense, they pointed out that protecting mangroves is essential to mitigate climate change globally, and to protect coastal communities from the threats of climate change locally, so facing the next elections, it is essential that the environmental issue, and particularly the protection of our oceans and coasts, becomes a priority issue for the next administration.

They questioned what would have happened in Acapulco – in October – if its mangroves had been preserved.

“It is undeniable that Otis has been one of the strongest hurricanes that has hit the Mexican coast, but the level of disaster would have been very different if Acapulco still had its mangrove barrier”.

They claim that from 2005 to 2020, 36% of the mangroves of the Laguna de Tres Palos de Acapulco were lost, precisely in the area where Otis hit land.

“And if this happened with Acapulco, what will happen with Tabasco, which suffers from floods every year and every year suffers the destruction of its mangrove ecosystems? And with Cancun? With Yucatan? With Oaxaca?”

The next six-year term ends in 2030, the year in which, according to the Paris Agreement, is the last to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5°C, and thus, reverse the potential catastrophic events resulting from climate change.

“For this, it is required that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced by at least 50%. Because this is the last six-year term we have to stop climate change, we have to act with impact. It is our last chance”.

In November 2022, Mexico adjusted its NDCs, according to which it commits to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% (or up to 40% depending on international support) by 2030.

However, the country has not taken actions to even approach meeting its objectives. The pilot test of the emissions trading system (ETS) ended in December 2022. Since then, the operational phase of the ETS has not begun.

What needs to be done?

Costa Salvaje indicated that the protection and restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems, especially coastal wetlands such as mangroves, must be ensured, for which a SCE is required that really translates into the reduction of emissions, environmental benefits and for vulnerable communities, that includes protocols for the restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems.

Likewise, an adequate and sufficient allocation of the expenditure budget and access to international financing for the environment and climate change is required.

On the other hand, it is essential to promote the transition to a circular economy that includes the collection and integral management of waste, dignifies the work of the scavengers, and prohibits the use of toxic and non-recyclable materials. This economic transition must also be zero emissions, they indicated.

“Mexico, due to its socioeconomic conditions and its geographical characteristics, is classified as a country highly vulnerable to climate change. It should not be destroying its mangroves, it should be restoring them.”

Source: Milenio