Wetland protection in San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas moves forward

Environmental authorities from the three levels of government, together with federal and local legislators from Chiapas, held a virtual meeting to propose solutions to the problems presented by the “María Eugenia and La Kisst” wetlands in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

Juan Salvador Camacho Velasco, a local deputy, pointed out that the contamination in the wetlands also represents a danger and a source of infection for the inhabitants of the municipality, so he insisted on a comprehensive management and composition of these bodies of water.

Likewise, experts and public servants of the State Environmental Prosecutor’s Office, the City of San Cristóbal, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa), the Federal Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the state and federal congresses, the National Water Commissions (Conagua) and Natural Protected Areas (Conanp), as well as civil society intend to implement a plan that includes the legal framework, social and governmental agreement, as well as a management and financial strategy, in order to stop the deterioration of those natural spaces.

They stated that the mountain wetlands of this municipality of Los Altos de Chiapas provide a large amount of water and have an important role in flood regulation; however, for several years they have been under the threat of changes in land use, putting water supply at risk, and ecological balance.

The legislator stressed that intervening in this natural space will prevent new invasions or constructions, pollution, and other environmental illicit that affect that place, which must be investigated.

Ecologist León Enrique Ávila Romero warns that mountain wetlands in the southeastern state of Chiapas are in danger. This due to invasions, land-use change, and urbanization.

Two wetlands are located in the state of Chiapas, La Kisst, and María Eugenia; both near San Cristóbal de las Casas. Declared natural protected areas in 2008 and incorporated into RAMSAR in 2012; for being wetlands of international importance, especially as waterfowl habitat.

Wetlands

Wetlands are bodies of water that provide clean, pure water. They are considered regulators of climate and water cycles as the mangroves on the coast.

Currently, some 20 hectares of Mexican wetlands have been filled, paved, or built on them. As a consequence, we have a considerable deterioration for the environment.

These actions threaten endemic species, which only live on this ecosystem. For example, the San Cristóbal popoyote or scam fish; This species is listed as endangered and is of great ecological importance.

In addition to housing different species of flora and fauna, these wetlands are the main source of drinking water for San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

Wetlands

Some time ago a group of citizens belonging to San Cristóbal; They began the fight to denounce invasions that cause damage to these natural areas. This has affected the activists themselves.

The head of institutional laboratories of the Colegio de la Frontera Sur; Jesús Carmona de la Torre stated that if the wetlands are lost, there will be a shortage of water, endemic species will become extinct and the risk of flooding will increase.

The municipal president of San Cristóbal has promised to restore the damage. Starting with the closure and protection of wetlands to avoid building in nearby areas.

According to the INH prepared by the Mexican government; in 2017, Mexico had 6,331 wetlands; of which, 142 are considered within the RAMSAR due to their relevance and characteristics.

Source: diariodechiapas.com, cceea.mx

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