Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mexico Protects Vast Rain Forest Tracks




Mexico Protects Vast Rain Forest Tracks

Mexico Protects Vast Rain Forest Tracks

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The government has created a new federal reserve to protect

the last remaining tropical rain forest in North America, which contains thousands

of endangered animal and plant species.

Environmentalists, who have been calling for protective measures for years, praised

the government's move to set aside about 800 square kilometers.

"This is very important," said Homero Aridjis, a poet, novelist and leader

of The Group of 100, a prominent environmental lobby group.

The area-about one-quarter the size of Hong Kong-contains hundreds of Mayan archaeological

sites and endangered species, Aridijis said.

The Lancandon Tropical Rainforest, which borders Guatemala, has been disappearing

at a rate of 3.5 percent each year. "That's faster than the Amazon Rain Forest,"

Aridjis said.

The jungle contains thousands of endangered animal and plant species, including jaguars,

tapirs, ocelots, macaws, and spider monkeys.

"We estimate that the rainforest has shrunk by 70 percent in the last 30 years,

mostly due to logging and clearing for farming," he said.

Human pressure on the area has increased markedly over the last 20 years. In 1970

there were about 5,000 people living there-now that figure is about 300,000, he said.

Growing conflict between indigenous communities and farmers and ranchers in the area

has sometimes led to violence.

Civil war in neighboring Guatemala has added to the problems. Refugees have poured

across the border, and several confrontations between the Mexican and Guatemalan

armies have occurred.

Drug traffickers also use the area to ship drugs through Mexico from Guatemala. Poachers

capture macaws, monkeys and other endangered animals for sale to foreigners.

Those rare animals can fetch U.S. $10,000 or more in clandestine markets.

The presidential decree signed in August prohibits logging and other commercial activities

in the area, but does allow long-established Indian communities there to use resources

for their own needs.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM slams HRW ‘double standards’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has chided Human Rights Watch (HRW) Asia director Brad Adams for keeping quiet over protest crackdowns in the US following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Addressing reporters while inspecting infrastructure development in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday,

  • Four more UN troops infected by Covid virus

    Four more Cambodian Blue Helmet peacekeepers in Mali have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, bringing the number of infected Cambodian UN peacekeepers to 10. National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces and Explosive Remnants of War deputy director-general and spokeswoman Kosal Malinda told The Post on Tuesday

  • Huge tracks of undocumented land a concern for registration officials

    Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Ly Samrith expressed concern that land registration plans for residents scheduled to be completed by late 2021 could not be achieved because 80 per cent of the land had not been registered. Land dispute issues are a major factor that poses a

  • Seniority payments postponed

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training announced on Monday the postponement of seniority payments for workers prior to 2019 and new seniority payments for workers in 2020, opting to implement them next year instead. The ministry also asked more than 25,000 workers in the garment and tourism

  • Garment sector requests EU to postpone EBA withdrawal

    Representatives of apparel, footwear and travel goods producers and the EU business community in the Kingdom on Tuesday requested the European Commission (EC) to postpone its withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential trade scheme for 12 months. The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC),

  • Regions prepare to spread wings again

    As cases of Covid-19 begin to taper, it is natural that business travellers in the Asia-Pacific will want to fly again. For a region where trade anchors prosperity, this is as essential as reopening schools, shops and offices. Singapore has started talks with China, Malaysia,