In Mexico there are 122 critical forest areas due to illegal logging, according to Profepa (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
Given the multiple cases of illegal logging that have occurred in Mexico City, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) must make transparent the information regarding the deforestation suffered by the capital’s forests.
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This was instructed by the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) on March 21. The foregoing is due to the fact that a private individual requested Profepa to disclose the number of trees that were illegally felled in the Ajusco forest between 2018 and 2022.
However, Profepa declared itself incompetent to provide the required information and, in response, recommended that the applicant submit a request to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and the Attorney General’s Office (FGR).
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Given this refusal, the person who requested the data filed a review appeal before the INAI. The President Commissioner, Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena, was in charge of presenting the case before the Plenary. After an analysis, she determined that Profepa could know the information requested, for which she ordered it to carry out a new search in this regard.
The President Commissioner, Blanca Lilia Ibarra Cadena, commented that illegal logging also brings socioeconomic consequences (Photo: INAI)
Among the data required was the number of illegally felled trees in the Ajusco forest and in the forested area of San Miguel Topilejo, located in the Tlalpan mayor’s office. Information was also requested on the affected area, the stolen materials, the people arrested for this crime and if there are police officers involved in said practice.
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In this sense, Commissioner Blanca Ibarra indicated that deforestation not only affects the environment, but also generates serious socioeconomic consequences, in addition to threatening the survival of communities that depend on forests, as warned by the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture.
He added that according to Profepa studies, there are 122 critical forest areas in 20 of the 32 states of the Mexican Republic, due to clandestine logging, wood laundering, forest fires caused by humans and the organized crime that is behind it. of these illicit
“The problem that this project addresses acquires the greatest centrality, even more so if we consider that since 2018 Mexico adhered to the Escazú Agreement, a binding instrument that obliges all institutions of the Mexican State to fully guarantee the right of access to environmental information”, commented Ibarra Cadena.
There are three types of illegal logging: the ant, the organized and the logging networks (Photo: Cuartoscuro)
The Escazú Agreement is the first in environmental matters in Latin America and the Caribbean. On September 27, 2018, 24 countries in the region signed it. Its objective is to favor access to information, as well as the creation of instruments that allow the protection and security of environmental defenders.
According to the capital authorities, there are three types of logging: the ant (carried out by small groups for self-consumption); the organized (in which people equipped with chainsaws, trucks, radios and other tools participate), and the logging networks (which include the entire natural resource processing chain).
Among the main consequences of these practices -in addition to climate change- is the displacement of native populations, the loss of soil, fauna and flora in the affected area, as well as desertification and water scarcity.
The forest species with the highest traffic are ciricote, chicozapote, mahogany, red cedar, katalox, machice, huanacaxlte, pine and granadillo. In case of detecting illegal logging, it can be reported to the environmental authorities, such as Profepa; or, notify the National Guard, the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) and the Secretary of the Navy (Semar).
In CDMX, the person who cuts down a tree without permission could be subject to a fine that can reach 192,000 pesos, in addition to being imprisoned from 3 months to 5 years, according to the local Penal Code.