Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico has signed an agreement with companies to protect the Encrucijada Biosphere and eventually stop it for being used to produce palm oil. According to the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), the agreement will protect the ecosystems such as mangroves, jungles and dunes, among others.
The Encrucijada Biosphere is located in the Pacific Coastal Lowlands in the state of Chiapas. It consists of two lagoon systems that host a large variety of ecosystems such as mangroves, marshes, forests, coastal dunes and palm trees.
Semarnat reports that the agreement was made through the National Commission of Natural Areas Protegidas (Conanp), who both signed a collaboration agreement with the Union of Palm Growers of Soconusco, Friends of the Crossroads, Oleopalma Industries, Pakal Agribusiness Consultants of the Southeast, Industrializadora Oleofinos, Palma Oils and the Mexican Federation of Palm Growers and Palm Extractors of Oil, to eradicate its use.
The parties will be in charge of monitoring the effectiveness of the eradication to be carried out and the implementation of the Control Plan for Palm Oil Dispersed in Natural Ecosystems of the La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve (2022-2023), for which the necessary financial, material and human resources will be allocated.
“The plan is intended to eliminate, control and monitor the populations and individuals of oil palm scattered in natural ecosystems of the Reserve to mitigate and prevent the possible negative impacts of cultivation,” the agency reported.
Invasive species are the first cause of biodiversity loss, which is why it is important that the campaign to eradicate dispersed palm oil be carried out at this time when it has not yet significantly replaced the ecosystems where it is found, such as the mangroves.
“These actions seek to protect the tallest mangroves in the American Pacific, and the only Zapotón Forest in Mesoamerica that serve as protection against hurricanes, refuges for resident and migratory birds, some in danger of extinction, as well as for mammals, reptiles, and they are fish shelters, soil generators, pollutant filters among other benefits,” they added.