We share some of the activities we made during June. We invite you to check our accomplishments and to join us in the defense of our environment.
Definitive Suspension granted against Sener’s and Cenace’s modifications to the electricity generation policy
A judge granted Definitive Suspension in relation to the legal action that Greenpeace, alongside CEMDA, presented against the electricity generation policy, published a few weeks ago by the Ministry of Energy (Sener) and the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace), which block renewable energies.
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CEMDA’s Research Coordinator, Anaid Velasco, stated that “[this] suspension is consistent with the responsibility to guarantee better living conditions for present and future generations. The repercussions on the environment, and on the health of the people exposed to poor air quality due to the use of fossil fuels in the generation of electricity, as well as the losses and damages of communities due to the effects of climate change are continuously growing and require proportional decisions aligned with this vulnerability scenario”.
Greenpeace Mexico showed images of the smoke columns and vapors generated by Tula’s Thermoelectric Plant a few hours prior to the Judge’s approval of the Suspension, in order to signal the discrepancies between the discourse and the facts. Greenpeace’s message was focused on how fuel oil used for electricity generation prevents “the full enjoyment of the sky, the sun and pure air” just as point six of the “Decalogue To Get Out of Coronavirus and Face The New Reality” states. This Decalogue was recently presented by Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
CEMDA’S Position Regarding the Tren Maya Project
CEMDA’s fundamental goal is the encouragement and defense of the right to a healthy environment in Mexico through the strenghthening, consolidation, harmonization, application and fullfillment of the current legal-environmental system. As part of this compromise, we have presented our position regarding the Tren Maya project.
It is our belief that this project and related works entail harmful consequences for the Mexican southeast, a zone rich in biological diversity and critical to the preservation of the Mayan jungle, the aquifer and biodiversity. Although the uncertainty of the final route for the project prevents us from spotting the specific damages to the environment, the National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt) has stated that this project will damage several municipalities of Chiapas and Tabasco, as well as high jungles and swamps. In the Yucatán Peninsula, the Mayan Train will damage the biggest and better preserved jungles beds in México. This ecosystems will suffer alterations (degradation, fragmentation and deforestation) asociated with the construction, circulation and development of the Mayan Train project. In CEMDA’s opinion these are the primary environmental risks associated with this project and related works: territorial fragmentation, exhaustion and contamination of the Yucatán Peninsula acquifer; deforestation, flora and fauna extinction, waste generation and noise.
The return to the new normality must be sustainable and culturally adequate
On June 5th, and in the context of the World Environment Day, we published our position regarding how the return to a “new normality” must be handled. In it, we demand the immediate adoption of public policies which may help to solve the climatic and biodiversity crisis we face today. It is paramount that we redistribute the federal budget and prioritize the defense of the environment so that we can avoid new climatic and health related crisis that may threaten humanity.
We believe that the right to a healthy environment can be the regulator shaft to public policy and government actions, for the environment must be the foundation in which we build the “new normality”. We call upon different orders of the Mexican State to include the following points in the design and implementation of the national public policy post-COVID-19: environmental human rights, pluricultural State, enough budget given to the environmental sector, air quality, energy, water, economic reactivación and mega projects; circular economy, agriculture and cattle raising.
Mexico’s Protected Natural Areas: lack of resources for their preservation
• Check the research Taking Care of What Matters: A Look at The Protected Natural Areas Budget.
In the last few years, public resources destined to the preservation of Protected Natural Areas have suffered a cut of 86% which was weakened the capacity to appropriately manage them. The group of Civil Society Organizations NOSSA (Northwest Civil Society for Environmental Sustaintability) published Taking Care of What Matters: A Look at The Protected Natural Areas Budget, a paper which analyzes the budget assigned to protected natural areas and identifies opportunities for their strenghthening.
Protected Natural Areas provide a great amount of environmental goods and services to communities. This areas guard ecosystems which are critical for water catchment hurricane protection, oxygen and food production, as well as providing a great value for tourism.