Did you know that Querétaro has 434 thousand 941 hectares of Protected Natural Areas?
Anyone who has traveled through the interior of the Queretaro territory and has visited areas such as the Servín lagoons in Huimilpan, the Sótano del Barro in Arroyo Seco, or Campo Alegre in San Joaquín, knows the beauty and importance of the biodiversity of Querétaro and the importance of conserving them.
Well, in the entity today there are 15 Protected Natural Areas (ANP), which comprise 434,941 hectares and represent 37.3 of the state territory.
Protected Natural Areas preserve species at risk; they ensure the preservation and sustainable use of ecosystems, their elements, and their functions (biodiversity); they provide a conducive field for scientific research and the study of ecosystems and their balance.
In addition, according to the State Government’s Secretariat for Sustainable Development (SEDESU), these ANPs protect the hydrological cycle in basins.
But not only that, this environment generates additional benefits for residents, communication routes, and agricultural uses; in addition to caring for the natural environments of monuments and archaeological, historical, and artistic remains, as well as tourist, recreational and cultural areas.
“Querétaro has positioned itself as the first state in the country committed to sustainable development and has a solid environmental agenda that contemplates the conservation and sustainable use of its natural heritage,” says Sedesu in its analysis of the local sustainable environment.
According to official data, in 2016, through the State Development Plan, the “Conservation and sustainable use of the natural heritage of the state of Querétaro” was established as a strategy, for which environmental policy instruments were generated that regulate the uses of land outside the population centers, as well as clear criteria for ecological regulation for the use and management of the entire territory.
The environmental agenda proposed by the Secretariat for Sustainable Development (SEDESU) addresses eight lines of action dedicated to climate change, waste, Protected Natural Areas, air quality, improvement of environmental regulation, ecological systems, environmental education, and water management.
In 2016, the State Environmental Protection Program was published, a document that aims to generate strategies and mechanisms that allow the implementation of actions and projects aimed at promoting a culture of sustainable human development.
Through the Payment for Environmental Services scheme, financed by the state administration and executed in conjunction with the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), a coverage of ten thousand hectares has been established; In 2020 alone, 10 ejidos from Amealco, Colón, and Pinal de Amoles were supported; that is to say, a total of 1,762 ejidatarios, plus nine small owners and a civil association from Jalpan, for the conservation of oak, pine, and deciduous forests.
Hand in hand with the Sierra Gorda Ecological Group (GESG), work is being done on a NAMA “Subnational Mitigation Actions to Regenerate Landscapes”, which is registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); An area of one million hectares of grazing lands and 240 thousand hectares of forests have been projected.
The Environmental Technical Standard on land clearing and clearing was designed and published to issue permits and authorizations that, by exclusion, are not under federal jurisdiction.
With the Environmental education strategy proposed by SEDESU, human resources have been trained to fulfill the function of multiplying agents of environmental issues.
Querétaro is the first state to have an ecological ordering of 100% of the territory regionally and locally.
The Regional Ecological Planning Program (POEREQ) defines the territory of the state in 412 environmental management units and contains 23 environmental guidelines or goals and 113 actions, which allow reducing, preventing, or solving the state’s environmental problems
The Local Ecological Ordinance Programs (POEL) are instruments of environmental policy that aim to regulate land uses outside of population centers in order to ensure the sustainable use of the territory at the municipal level.
Querétaro has 13 POELs issued, which represent 67.18 percent of the territory’s surface and 90.4 percent of the population; as well as the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve (RBSG), which is made up of five municipalities, represents 32.82 percent of the territorial surface.
With the Low Carbon Project, which provides support to public transport, it has been possible to reduce 57 percent of the emissions of these vehicles in the area; almost 40 percent of the taxis that circulate in the metropolitan area, and 60 percent of the urban buses, work with natural gas.
Regarding waste management, emissions related to sanitary landfills have reduced their contribution to overall state emissions from 18 percent to 3 percent; Furthermore, 90 percent of the waste is deposited in sanitary landfills and 10 percent in controlled sites.
The State Vehicle Verification Program has been approved with six-member entities of the Megalopolis Environmental Commission (CAMe), and 38 Verification Centers have been certified.
The state has an air quality monitoring network with seven stations, located in four municipalities; This network is operated in conjunction with the Autonomous University of Querétaro (UAQ) by the Center for Monitoring and Air Quality of Querétaro (CeMCAQ), which calculates and analyzes pollution levels; air quality indices are published through the cemcaq.mx website.
In 2019, the Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change called the “State Climate Change Commission” was installed and within this body, instruments can be generated to prevent and mitigate greenhouse gas and compound emissions.
In 2020, the Governor, Francisco Domínguez Servién, was appointed as co-president of the Under 2 Coalition, in which more than 220 members participate globally and with which Querétaro acquires a public role and international climate diplomacy, representing Latin America and being the spearhead in the country.
The state administration maintains its commitment to promoting projects that foster a culture of sustainable human development, proof of this is that Elawan Energy decided to establish the first large-scale sustainable energy project in Querétaro.
In the municipality of Huimilpan, with an investment of 56 million dollars, the Wind Farm is established, which will have 15 wind turbines with a capacity of 30 MW.