Spend more on fighting deforestation: Greenpeace tells Mexico

October 20th, 2011 - 12:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Oct 20 (IANS/EFE) Greenpeace called on Mexican lawmakers to allocate more funds to combating deforestation, saying nearly a half-million hectares were being lost annually.

Of the 6.81 billion pesos ($508 million) initially projected for forest management in the 2012 budget, “only around 700 million pesos ($52 million) are earmarked for programmes that support activities that promote effective acknowledgement of the value of forest ecosystems and which ensure the provision of environmental services”, the environmental group said.

The Mexican government’s 2011 budget contains 6.15 billion pesos ($459 million) for forest protection, meaning that proposed spending on forest management in next year’s budget would be 10.6 percent higher.

The new budget proposal, however, “does not contribute effectively to reversing the severe deforestation that affects Mexico’s woodlands”, Greenpeace said.

“It also does not value the importance of these ecosystems for maintaining the livelihoods of communities and citizens amid the global climate change crisis,” Greenpeace said.

It is important to keep in mind “that the forests are not only a group of trees” but “complex ecosystems consisting of a great diversity of species”, Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace said 70 percent of forests in Mexico are the property of Indian communities and cooperatives and therefore it is necessary to channel more resources to them.

–IANS/EFE
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