The Campeche scientific community unites efforts to stop the slow deterioration and destruction of more than 185 thousand hectares of mangrove that make up the Petenes Reserve, as a result of the surprising presence of an unknown plague, for which both the Autonomous University of Campeche (UACAM) and the College of the Southern Border (Ecosur) will seek resources to initiate the proper investigations asap.
In this regard, the head of the State Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnatcam), Roberto Alcalá Ferraez; the head of the State Council for Scientific Research and Technological Development of Campeche (Coesicydet), Carlos Rodríguez Cabrera; and the director of relationships of the Posgraduate College, Javier Vera López, all stated that this is an urgent matter.
In separate interviews for La Jornada Maya, Roberto Alcalá revealed that although there is a program for the recovery of the mangrove in the Petenes’ area where the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) is investing 70 million pesos, it has been formally requested to the Coesicydet, that through the Institute of Ecology, Fisheries and Oceanography of the Mexican Gulf (Epomex), an institution of the Autonomous University of Campeche (UACAM) and Ecosur, a project of genetic improvement research is developed to counteract these effects that are caused by pollution, resullting in the deterioration and death of the mangrove, threatening the subsistence of countless ecosystems.
Alcalá Ferraez explained that both institutions should present projects to obtain resources in order to know the origin of these pests so that, through a genetic improvement program, the vast mangrove area of the Petenes Reserve can be saved.
“The goal is to stop this problem and make the mangroves more resistant to parasites and to climate change, keeping it healthy, so it can fulfill its important role as an ecosystem” he said.
“It is intended,” he continued, “to open a laboratory for genetic improvement where Epomex and Ecosur can carry out the corresponding studies together”. Finally, the state official praised the availability of the Science and Technology Commission to carry out these studies.
The head of the State Council of Scientific Research and Technological Development of Campeche (Coesicydet), Carlos Rodríguez Cabrera, confirmed this threat and revealed that last week he met with personnel from CONAFOR and other state research institutions, to develop a strategy to counteract the effects of what he called “a type of fungi”, that is infecting the mangroves.
The state official said that the problem will be addresed as soon as possible, postgraduate students and researchers from institutions such as Ecosur and other universities will work together to find a solution.
“An interdisciplinary group of researchers will participate in this initiative, in order to enrich the research and to have a greater number of proposals in order to seek solution through genetic improvement. This type of strategy would make the mangroves in the area of the Petenes more resistant to any type of pest or fungus”, Rodríguez Cabrera concluded.
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