Mexico Creates 4 New Protected Biological Reserves
The Associated Press
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December 8, 2016

Mexico Protects 160M Acres for Wildlife and Environment (NewsBeat Social)

Mexico's president signed decrees creating four new biological reserves and five other protected areas this week, setting aside about 160 million acres (65 million hectares) for environmental conservation.

Enrique Pena Nieto's office said in a statement that it was the largest amount of land the country has ever decreed as environmentally protected, and with it Mexico joins a group of nations that have met a commitment to safeguard 10 percent of their maritime area. It said Mexico has now designated 23 percent of its sea surface as protected.

The decrees establish the reserves of the Pacific Islands, comprising some 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) of waters off the west coast of the Baja California Peninsula; the Mexican Deep Pacific, a swath of ocean over 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep from Chiapas state to Nayarit; the Mexican Caribbean, which includes an important reef system; and the Mountains of Tamaulipas, a habitat for various feline species and the source for eight different watersheds.

Pena Nieto signed the decrees as a U.N. Biodiversity Conference was being held in Cancun, Mexico.

"Either we change our way of life to stop the loss of biodiversity, or this loss will change our lives forever," Pena Nieto said in remarks at the conference.

Read the rest at VOA News

Related: Mexico Protects Islands Off Baja California's Pacific Coast (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Related: Greenpeace Welcomes Mexico's New Protected Areas But Urges Mechanisms to Protect Them (Mexico News Daily)

Related: UN Conference Adopts 'Cancun Declaration,' Ramping Up Efforts to Protect World's Biodiversity (UN)

Related: Biodiversity Betrayal as Nations Fail Miserably on Conservation (New Scientist)

Related: Brazil to Restore Huge Tract of Degraded Land in Largest Pledge of Its Kind (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

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