Posted by Dave Collins on February 24, 2007, 12:13 am
The following "Official Denunciation" will be open for signing until Thursday, March 1, at El Girasol Bistro from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m., every day but Sunday. After this date it will be sent to a number of government agencies, including SEMARNAT, PROFEPA, and the Municipality of La Huerta, as well as the press. We are also SOLICITING the backing of several Mexican NGOs, foundations and universities such as Tortuga Negra, A.C.; Ecological Foundation, A.C.; UNAM Biological Station, Centro Universitario de la Costa Sur (Univ. of Guadalajara), and PRONATURA to name a few. As well, we are already allied with the University of Nevada, Earthwatch Institute, Greenfire Productions, and the Land Trust Alliance.
But more than anything, we need to show the support of concerned citizens like you in order to halt the insidious, unregulated development of the coastal mangrove zone between La Manzanilla and Boca de Iguanas. Democracy should be more than two wolves and a sheep sitting down and deciding what to have for dinner! Show your support for your community and ecosystem. Take a moment to read the following letter and consider signing it. Together, we can make a difference. Thank you!
P.S. If you are not physically here to sign, but would like to support this campaign, please request an electronic copy of the letter from me. Then you can sign the last page, and scan it or fax it to me: 315-351-5341.
P.P.S. Since this letter is too large for the La Manzanilla Message Board, it will have to be sent in several parts. Please bare with me.
La Manzanilla del Mar
To Whom it May Concern:
We are requesting that all the current coastal developments bordering the beach and the mangrove of La Manzanilla and Boca de Iguanas be immediately halted until official inspections pertaining to this zone are made by appropriate authorities, and environmental impact statements are made public to the concerned citizens of these communities. Furthermore, we are requesting that all environmental impact statements be revised in light of the new presidential decree signed by President, Felipe Calderón, on December 22, 2006, that restricts construction and development activities in coastal mangroves.
The newly decreed Article 60 of the General Wildlife Law states that: “It remains prohibited the removal, filling, transplanting, pruning, or whatever other work or activity that effects the integrability of the hydrologic flow of the mangrove; of the ecosystem and its zone of influence; of its natural productivity; of the natural carrying capacity of the ecosystem for tourism projects; of the zones of nesting, reproduction, shelter, feeding and breeding: either the interactions between the mangrove, the rivers, the dune, the adjacent maritime zone and the corals, or that which provokes changes in the characteristics and ecological services. Works or activities that have as their objective to protect, restore, investigate or conserve mangrove areas will be exempted from the prohibition referred to in the preceding paragraph”
In addition to not being in accordance with the new presidential decree, the current developments are neither in accordance with the Ecological Ordinance Plan of the Costalegre, which emphasizes the necessity of low density infrastructure due to the presence of a highly fragile environment.
According to Article 11 of the Ordinance of the General Law of the Ecological Equilibrium and the Protection of the Environment in Material of Evaluation of the Environmental Impact, the following activities require an environmental impact statement (EIS) for their evaluation and possible authorization: “Q) Property Developments that Effect Coastal Ecosystems: Construction and operation of hotels, condominiums, villas, urban housing developments, restaurants, commercial installations and services in general, marinas, docks, breakwaters, golf courses, tourist or urban infrastructure, general communication thoroughfares, works of restitution or recovery of beaches, or artificial reefs, that effect coastal ecosytems….” As well, activities that must present an EIS are: “R) Works and Activities in Wetlands, Mangroves, Lagoons, Rivers, Lakes and Swamps connected to the ocean, as well as its littoral and federal zones….”. “One-family dwellings”, among other activities, of coastal communities remain exempt from having to present an EIS for these activities.
Although many of the current construction projects bordering the beach and the mangrove of La Manzanilla and Boca de Iguanas are under the “one-family dwelling” exemption, Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is not considering the cumulative impacts of these individual projects that are provoking the destruction and fragmentation of this ecosystem. Nor is it considering the loss of dune vegetation nesting habitat for the American crocodile (Cocodrylus acutus), Leatherback (Demochelys coriacea) and Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles as a result of construction in this coastal zone. These three species are cited in NOM-059-ECOL-2001, that notes endangered species, species in danger of extinction, or species under special protection. Under the current development, the fragile dune habitat crucial to these species’ survival has already been demolished by bulldozers!
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