Published On: Thu, Nov 12th, 2015

Natural protected areas in Mexico — what are they?

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Protected areas can take on many different forms, such as national parks, wilderness areas, community conserved areas, nature reserves and privately owned reserves.

At the start of the 20th century, there were only a handful of protected areas in the world, although many have existed for generations. Over time they have been recognised as a mainstay of biodiversity conservation as well as contributing to people’s livelihoods.

Today, there are approximately 200,000 protected areas in the world, which cover around 14.6% of the world’s land and around 2.8% of the oceans.


Natural Protected Areas in Mexico

There are 67 National Parks, or Parques Nacionales, in Mexico protecting and showcasing the country’s wildlife, landscapes and history.

A protected area in Mexico is defined as: the instrument of environmental policy with greater legal definition for the conservation of biodiversity.

These areas are portions of land or water in the country representing various ecosystems, where the original environment has not been essentially altered and which produce environmental benefits increasingly recognized and valued.

They are created by presidential decree and the activities that can be performed on them are set in accordance with the General Act of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection, its regulations, the management program and the  programs of  land-use  planning in an ecological way.

They are subject to special protection, conservation, restoration and development, according to categories defined in the Act.

The National Commission of Natural Protected Areas currently manages 173 natural areas under federal condition, representing more than 25, 250,963 hectares. These areas are classified into the following categories as shown in the table below.

Number of PA Category Area (hectares) Percentage of national territory

41

  Biosphere Reserves

12,652,787

6.44

67

 National Parks

1,482,489

0.75

5

Natural Monuments

16,268

0.01

8

 Protection Area of Natural Resources

4,440,078

2.26

35

 Protection Area of Flora and Fauna

6,646,942

3.38

18

Sanctuaries

146,254

0.07

174

25,384,818

 

Source: http://www.conanp.gob.mx/

 

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