In 50 years, 90% of the wetlands of San Cristóbal de las Casas have disappeared

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*The protection and conservation of mountain wetlands is a shared responsibility between governments and citizens. It is essential to abide by and respect the legal protection mechanisms that these sites have, to guarantee the human rights to water, a healthy environment and a dignified life, as well as their environmental, spiritual and cultural wealth.


Through a press conference, in Corazón de Jade-Museo Jardín, the “Rodada por los humedales de San Cristóbal de Las Casas” was announced, an initiative organized by civil society in conjunction with areas of the city council, with the objective to make visible and resignify these ecosystems through sports, recreational and family activities.

The shooting will be next February 5th, the meeting point is the Moxviquil Reserve, at 7:30 am. During the event, the Municipal Directorate of Ecology and Environment was presented with the following statement in defense of mountain wetlands and the human right to water, as a symbol of the shared commitment of civil society organizations, citizens and the government municipal.

In defense of mountain wetlands and the human right to water in the Valle de Jovel basin, various civil society organizations* spoke out . They consider it necessary to update the comprehensive management plan for the area, from an environmental and water justice perspective, as well as to determine social, political, financial and environmental mechanisms that allow the restoration, conservation and protection of these ecosystems in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

For this reason, they considered urgent the proposals not to fill in any more mountain wetlands in the city, promote sanitation alternatives, manage the construction of a black and gray water treatment plant, and carry out reforestation and soil management campaigns to reduce runoff. and promote water infiltration.

Likewise, restructure the system of water concessions, through the enactment of the General Water Law, so that water management has a comprehensive and rights perspective, in order to prioritize compliance with human rights to water. and to the sanitation of people, over private economic interests.

Taking into account that despite the benefits they provide and the protection mechanisms, they are threatened every day, with invasions, landfills and desiccation. Therefore, it is essential that the people who live in the city know and join the effort that various social and neighborhood organizations have made over the years to seek their defense.

Photo: Wetlands of San Cristóbal de Las Casas/ARCHIVE

In that sense, they recognized the efforts to protect part of these ecosystems. An example, the wetland of the La Hormiga neighborhood, provides water to 31 neighborhoods in the northern zone. Others have legal protection mechanisms, such is the case of María Eugenia and La Kisst, the latter supplies 76 neighborhoods, more than 14,000 users of the Municipal Potable Water and Sewage System (SAPAM).

Just 50 years ago, most of the surface of the San Cristóbal Valley was covered by montane wetlands. However, the opening of the vent tunnel, land use change, retention of runoff, deforestation, invasions, landfills, and the lack of government and citizen commitment, caused around 90% of the areas to disappear.

They manifest themselves, given the situation and deterioration that the bodies of water in the Jovel Valley are going through. Image: Courtesy

On the other hand, groups of neighborhoods, neighborhoods, subdivisions and communities, expressed their concern about the serious situation and deterioration that bodies of water are going through, living through an environmental catastrophe. In several neighborhoods there are: scarcity of liquid, floods due to rain and landslides, because the authority has not respected mother earth.

That said, the more than 90 neighborhoods summoned from the 4 cardinal points of the city, asked that the wetlands, rivers and forests be saved for the good of the population. In addition, they requested that they carry out true actions, the environment more than a budget problem, it is a matter of survival, intelligence, vision of the future and true love.

Mountain Wetlands in San Cristóbal

María Eugenia Mountain Wetland. – Photo: Water Guardians

Wetlands are important ecosystems for the environment, as they are large sponges that absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and serve in the collection of water as well as its expulsion through springs. In San Cristóbal, there are 10 wetlands: Almolonga, La Hormiga, Peje de Oro, María Auxiliadora, San Juan de los Lagos, María Eugenia, Real del Monte, El Campanario, Pedregal, Navajuelos and La Kisst, only two are cataloged as Ramsar sites.

Ramsar Sites

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that serves as a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. It was approved on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar, and entered into force in 1975.

Around 1995, Mexico was among the countries that tried and swore to join the international efforts to protect mangroves, tulares, popales, reefs, lagoon systems and mountain wetlands.

Wetlands of La Kisst in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Photo: Courtesy.

For 1997, the Convention declared World Wetlands Day, framed on February 2 of each year, with the mission of making visible the importance of these, the benefits they provide, why it matters to conserve them and promote local, federal and international actions. to protect her.

The definition of wetland for the Ramsar Convention is quite broad, it fits almost any ecosystem in which water, be it fresh, brackish or salty, is the protagonist. And, in these spaces, life is expressed with hundreds and thousands of species of fish, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, crustaceans, molluscs, plants and fungi populating the place in its entirety.

*Signatories:

Blue Pitcher

Moxviquil – Learning Community for Sustainability

Pronatura Sur

Encounter Natural Park

Jovel Valley Reserve Network

Global Network of Youth for Biodiversity – Mexico Chapter

Feminist Filming of San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Bicicatlan

Angels of Love AC

Citizens for territorial action in the Valle de Jovel basin

*Groups from neighborhoods, neighborhoods, subdivisions and communities:

General Council of the South Zone and wetlands

General Council of the North Zone

Citizen Security Council

Corzo Brothers Cycling School

United for San Cristobal

Chupactic Water System

Cuxtitali original neighborhood

San Cristobal Post