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Authors Phil Green
Published 2006
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Mexico (Spanish: México [ˈmexiko] (listen); Nahuan languages: Mēxihco), officially the United Mexican States (Estados Unidos Mexicanos; EUM [esˈtaðos uˈniðoz mexiˈkanos] (listen), lit.'Mexican United States'), is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers 1,972,550 square kilometers (761,610 sq mi), making it the world's 13th-largest country by area; with approximately 126,014,024 inhabitants, it is the 10th-most-populous country and has the most Spanish-speakers. Mexico is organized as a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, its capital and largest metropolis. Other major urban areas include Guadalajara, Monterrey, Puebla, Toluca, Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, and León.

Climate action[edit | edit source]

Climate change in Mexico is expected to have widespread impacts on Mexico: with significant decreases in precipitation and increases in temperatures. This will put pressure on the economy, people and the biodiversity of many parts of the country, which have largely arid or hot climates. Already climate change has impacted agriculture, biodiversity, farmer livelihoods, and migration, as well as "water, health, air pollution, traffic disruption from floods, [and] housing vulnerability to landslides."

Altered precipitation patterns and warming temperatures have led to economic insecurity in Mexico, particularly for smallholder farmers who grow Mexico's economically and culturally important crops: maize and coffee. Climate change impacts are especially severe in Mexico City, due to increases in air pollution. Ecological impacts of climate change within Mexico include reductions in landscape connectivity and shifting migratory patterns of animals. Furthermore, climate change in Mexico is tied to worldwide trade and economic processes which relate directly to global food security.

Biodiversity[edit | edit source]

Mexico ranks fourth in the world in biodiversity and is one of the 17 megadiverse countries. With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home of 10–12% of the world's biodiversity. Mexico ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 known species, second in mammals with 438 species, fourth in amphibians with 290 species, and fourth in flora, with 26,000 different species. Mexico is also considered the second country in the world in ecosystems and fourth in overall species. About 2,500 species are protected by Mexican legislations.

In 2002, Mexico had the second fastest rate of deforestation in the world, second only to Brazil. It had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 6.82/10, ranking it 63rd globally out of 172 countries. The government has taken another initiative in the late 1990s to broaden the people's knowledge, interest and use of the country's esteemed biodiversity, through the Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad.

In Mexico, 170,000 square kilometres (65,637 sq mi) are considered "Protected Natural Areas". These include 34 biosphere reserves (unaltered ecosystems), 67 national parks, 4 natural monuments (protected in perpetuity for their aesthetic, scientific or historical value), 26 areas of protected flora and fauna, 4 areas for natural resource protection (conservation of soil, hydrological basins and forests) and 17 sanctuaries (zones rich in diverse species).

The discovery of the Americas brought to the rest of the world many widely used food crops and edible plants. Some of Mexico's native culinary ingredients include: chocolate, avocado, tomato, maize, vanilla, guava, chayote, epazote, camote, jícama, nopal, zucchini, tejocote, huitlacoche, sapote, mamey sapote, many varieties of beans, and an even greater variety of chiles, such as the habanero and the jalapeño. Most of these names come from indigenous languages like Nahuatl.

Because of its high biodiversity Mexico has also been a frequent site of bioprospecting by international research bodies. The first highly successful instance being the discovery in 1947 of the tuber "Barbasco" (Dioscorea composita) which has a high content of diosgenin, revolutionizing the production of synthetic hormones in the 1950s and 1960s and eventually leading to the invention of combined oral contraceptive pills.

Environment quality[edit | edit source]

Oaxaca Water Quality Forum

Trees, woodland and forest[edit | edit source]

Reforestation at Pedregal

Community involvement[edit | edit source]

  • Zapatistas: Lessons in community self-organisation in Mexico, Jun 25,2020 [1]
  • Cherán. 5 years of self-government in an indigenous community in Mexico, Dec 2, 2016 [2]

The town of Cherán in Mexico saw armed citizens kick out the corrupt police, drug cartels, and mayor in 2011. Since then they have adopted a system of popular assemblies to govern the town, which is somewhat independent of the central government. W

Coasts[edit | edit source]

SuMar, Community Journalism in the Gulf of California

Community energy[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Renewable Energy Resources, Solar power in Mexico, Wind power in Mexico, Renewable Energy Law, Energy Efficiency Law, Electricity and the environment

Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]

Ecotourism: Sierra Gorda

Food activism[edit | edit source]

Via Organica helping local vendors and farmers thrive[edit | edit source]

Via Organica, a regenerative farm in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is more than just a place that grows and sells fresh, organic produce to the local community. Rosana Álvarez, the farm's founder, also runs an educational center, restaurant, and store. By centralizing these operations, Álvarez is seeking to improve the livelihoods for local farmers and vendors.

Álvarez points to the example of a vendor who used to wake up at 4:30 a.m. every morning, take a long bus ride into the city, and walk from house to house selling tortillas. She would often return home at 7-8 p.m. at night, having sold only a few hundred pesos' worth of tortillas — making roughly $10-$20 for a full day's work. But now, Álvarez says, the vendor needs to travel to San Miguel just once per week to deliver tortillas in bulk to Via Organica. And she receives payment up front, Álvarez says. For Álvarez, this model represents a push to better the lives of local food producers and incentivize sustainable agricultural practices.

"I talk to people who take a bus, another bus to make two hundred pesos a day. Via Organica has changed that. People are making 10,000 pesos a week," she says. The extra income improves quality of life for vendors and allows them to spend more time with their families.

Álvarez founded Via Organica in 2009 after learning about organic farming from representatives at the Organic Consumers Association, a U.S.-based advocacy group. She says she was amazed by what she learned about the power of food, and with the help of the association, the farm was born. Almost a decade later, Via Organica now offers more than 2,000 organic and sustainable products in its store and serves hearty and healthy Mexican delicacies in its restaurant.

Álvarez says the organization also hold free workshops, classes, and internships, and helps organize a farmers' market in San Miguel. Every week, locals gather in Via Organica for workshops on healthy eating, composting, and other lessons. At the farm outside of the city, local schoolchildren learn about how to harvest and the different crops Via Organica grows. "Our way of eating has changed," Álvarez says. "Things are getting out of hand. So we are working to return to clean water and clean food. We are educating children."

Since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 1994, the Mexican food system has been destabilized, with processed products imported from the U.S. disrupting small farms. But despite the uphill battle, Álvarez passionately encourages her producers to hold on to their land and their traditions. "I tell my farmers, 'This land is precious,'" she says. "This land without pesticides, they have to hold on to it."

Sustainable farming, especially community-focused projects like Álvarez's, relies on the universal language of food to reshape the way people see their role as stewards of the earth. But it also serves a simpler but equally vital purpose: demystifying agriculture and empowering people with the knowledge of where their food comes from. "We deserve to know what we are eating," Álvarez says.[3]

Other initiatives

Sembradores Urbanos - Solar cooking resources in Mexico

Sustainable transport activism[edit | edit source]

More video: BRT Mexico City - English on youtube

Colectivo camina, haz ciudad (Mexico City) - Hacia ciudades libres de autos 2011, Towards Carfree Cities - Menos cajones más ciudad

Resources[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

commons:Atlas of Mexico

Ecovillages[edit | edit source]

  • Las Cañadas Bosque de Niebla, on ecovillage.org, is a centre for agro-ecology and permaculture, situated in one of the last remaining islands of the Bosque de Niebla- the forest of mist-, in Mexico's central Veracruz region. Here, permaculture is used as a design tool with the aim of learning how to implement and share a sustainable way of living. "We are continuously developing creative solutions to solve both social and environmental problems that persist in this era of accelerated climate change." added 16:34, 2 May 2021 (UTC)

Near you[edit | edit source]

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See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Wikipedia: Mexico

References[edit | edit source]

  1. opendemocracy.net
  2. opendemocracy.net
  3. By Casey OBrien, January 30, 2019 on Shareable