The event divided opinions between those who blame the mangrove for the floods and those who ask for their protection.
The mangrove of a section of the Jabalines stream began to be removed during Friday with an excavator, but the felling was stopped this Saturday by inspectors of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Environment (Profepa) because they did not give prior notice or have permission.
Pedro Luis León Rubio, in charge of the office of Profepa in Sinaloa, reported that although it is a protected species, its court is allowed only in an emergency situation in the face of the imminence of a disaster. When this occurs, a prior evaluation is not required, however, whoever makes the felling is obliged to give notice to the Semarnat within a maximum period of 72 hours from the start of the works, as established in article 6 ° of the Regulation of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection.
“When it is demonstrated with evidence that it causes some type of damage, they are granted permission for removal,” he said.
But when it comes to other types of works, an Environmental Impact Statement must be submitted for approval.
In the specific case of the mangrove felling carried out during Friday in a section of the Jabalines stream, the notice was not issued nor is there any type of authorization, he said.
León Rubio said a new visit to the site will be made to assess the environmental damage. In case the pop-up notice is not presented within the official term, the procedure will be criminally given that the mangrove is a protected species and its destruction is a federal crime.
Who carved the mangrove?
Profepa’s Natural Resources subdelegate also mentioned that his inspectors notified him that the felling was done by the City Council of Mazatlan, however, the Director of Municipal Public Works, Juan de Dios Garay, denied it.
Garay clarified that the commune only removes garbage from canals and streams.
This means tried to verify if the machinery and logging is the responsibility of the State Government but it was not possible to verify it.
Mangrove, protected species
Article 60 TER of the General Wildlife Law prohibits the removal, filling, transplantation, pruning, or any work or activity that affects the integrity of the mangrove hydrological flow; of the ecosystem and its area of influence.
Mangroves are species of trees of terrestrial origin that have evolutionarily adapted to survive in flooding environments. They are considered important because they are areas of food, shelter and growth of crustaceans, fry and other species of flora and fauna.
They also help mitigate greenhouse gases because they capture carbon from the atmosphere; regulate floods, favor aquifer recharge and improve water quality because they function as biological filters, among other environmental services.
For and against the mangrove
On Saturday morning, a group of residents of the Jacarandas neighborhood demonstrated in favor of clearing the mangrove when considering that it favors flooding. They also warned that they will be planted in the offices of Profepa and Semarnat next Monday to demand that their removal be authorized.
Another sector of the population considers that the problem is not the mangrove, but the garbage that people throw into the canals and streams causing the clogging of pipelines and tributaries. In addition, it is noted that the underlying solution to the problem has to do with the expansion of the mouth of the Infiernillo estuary.
The rains recorded in the early hours of Thursday, August 22, caused the overflow of the Jabalines stream, affecting the inhabitants of the surrounding colonies such as Jacarandas, Lico Velarde and November 20, mainly.
Precipitation was generated by tropical storm Ivo, which affected Sinaloa, especially the southern zone, where up to 214 millimeters were reported.
Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel, toured the affected area and ordered an emerging and immediate program of care for affected families with health, cleaning, and social assistance brigades.
Through a statement, the State Government said that the Jabalines stream, “it has not been possible to dredge to continue with the paving work that ends this problem, because its mangroves represent a protected ecological zone.”
The same document indicates that the stream has been cemented and that it is required to work in new stages of the work to offer greater protection and safety to this large residential area.
On Friday, August 23, it was announced that the Federal Government issued an emergency declaration in five municipalities of Sinaloa affected by the rains caused by the tropical storm “Ivo”.
That same day, an excavator began to tear off the mangroves of a section of the Jabalines stream, which generated the rejection of environmentalists and the acceptance of neighbors who feel harmed by the presence of these aquatic trees.
The Mazatlan Post