Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mexico’s cities not ready for climate change

Emilio Godoy in IPS: Towns on Mexico’s Caribbean coast are behind schedule on the design and implementation of plans to face the challenges of climate change, in spite of the urgency of measures to reduce vulnerability.

The country’s 2012 General Law on Climate Change requires state and municipal governments to implement programmes addressing issues like greenhouse gas inventories and adaptation and mitigation policies.

IPS visited 37 coastal municipalities in the southeastern states of Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo, and found that only six had specific programmes, 10 were in the process of creating them, and the rest said they were unaware of the requirement.

“The municipalities are waiting for the federal government to act, because they are completely overwhelmed,” said Lourdes Rodríguez, the founder of Marea Azul, an NGO working since 1992 to protect the ecosystem of Laguna de Términos, part of the country’s largest river basin, in Campeche. “They are doing very little; it’s all pretence,” she told IPS.

 “The worst problems are on the coast, where there is erosion. There is a very serious demographic problem, because a lot of people are coming to work in the oil industry, and they are invading mangrove swamps to build houses and using just any materials as infill,” said the activist. “The oil companies are settling in the mangrove swamps,” she said...

The central plaza in Balancan, Tabasco. Public domain photo

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