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									2. Major Environmental Issues

       This analysis is supported by the interactive work carried out in communnity

meetings and interviews with the ejido workers, government officers, businessmen,

academicians, etc. The basis data are found in several documents among which are: the

State Territorial Ordinance Program (“Programa Estatal de Ordenamiento Territorial”), the

aquaculture and fisheries sectorial program (“Programa Sectorial Acuacultura y Pesca, 2001-

2006”), and the guidelines for the State development plan (“Lineamientos para el Plan

Estatal de Desarrollo, Baja California Sur 1999-2005”). A general vision of this information

shows that the most frequent coincidences as to the environmental major issues is

focused in four main axes:

   1) Limited availability of groundwater and the problems resulting from its irrational

       use and waste. Perception that this factor is different in the rural and urban zones.

   2) Different types and degrees of environmental contamination of antropical origin:

       rubble, miscellaneous solid waste, agrochemicals, oil and fuel, tires, machinery junk,

       waste from slaughterhouses (mainly from squid fishery developments), etc. The

       origin and effect of these agents on the water resource (continental and marine),

       show a different dimension and composition, both at the macro and micro-regional

       scales, but with greater problems in the coastal zone. Industrial contamination can

       be considered “moderate” as it is mainly limited to two thermoelectric power

       stations of the state (López Mateos in Bahía Magdalena, and Punta Prieta in La Paz),

       and to some canning facilities (Pichilingue, Santa Rosalía and Puerto San Carlos).
       3) Wrongful and abusive use of the soil and bodies of water in environmentally

           aggressive projects with little or no positive impact on the community.

       4) Inhabitants and decision-makers lack of knowledge about the state’s natural capital.

           There are practically no programs for a balanced management and the ones being

           prepared offer little or no variability in the sustainable development integral


        Ground and Marine Waters: Use and Constraints

         Baja California Sur is considered to be an arid to semi-arid zone with low rainfall.

The rainy season is relatively short with intermitent torrential-like rains, which

occasionally elicit intense fluvial and erosional phenomena.1 When rain conditions are

combined with the physical and topographic characteristics of the peninsular soil, it is

clear that recharging the water tables is limited in time and insufficient in volume, mainly

on the Gulf slopes. This is true despite the fact that Baja California Sur gets the largest

amount of cyclones in the entire Mexican Pacific and the country. As a consequence of the

torrential rains and erodable soils, the effect is extreme sedimentation and reductions in

groundwater recharge rates.

           Limited groundwater is of concern to government and civic leaders alike. The

state’s total consumption is estimated to be of 500 to 650 million m³ per annum, out of

which 5% comes from surface waters and 0.1% from the few desalination plants operating

on the coast. The rest (95%) is extracted from the aquifers.2

    Idem., p. 14. / Emigdio Z. Flores, Op. Cit., p. 211.
    State Gov., PEOT, Op. Cit., p. 10.
        The state Territorial Ordinance Program (PEOT) specifies that 60% of Baja

California Sur’s territory lacks sufficient ground or surface hydraulic resources that are

available for exploitation. The areas of exploitation account for 35% of the state’s

territory, but have already been overexploited in almost all cases; only 4% of the territory

can withstand increased (limited) extraction.3 The effects of irrational pumping (depletion

and saline intrusion) and pollution4 are mainly associated with the growth of the

agricultural areas and human settlements, as well as increased demands from second home

development and tourism infrastructure, including golf courses and resort hotels,.

      Several attempts have been made to establish desalination plants in the state, but the

results have not been convincing with regard to meeting potable water supply needs at an

urban scale. However, this strategy has solved part of the issues regarding water scarcity

in some of the isolated coastal communities, although the cost and specialized

maintenance required for machinery and equipment constrain the continuance and

expansion of these services. This is especially true in La Paz, where the skeletons of two

large desalination plants (facing the Palmira Marina and San Juan Nepomuceno) are silent

witnesses of the failure of these projects.

      There is a generalized concern for the high level of wasted water in highly dense

urban areas, as well as and in the large hotel zones. In the former, water needs exceed

water supply by 20% or more in some municipalities.5 Aging infrastructure, poor

distribution networks, and irresponsible water use are the main culprits behind wasted

  Idem., p. 11.
  Emigdio Z. Flores, Op. Cit., p. 3-4.
   H. Ayuntamiento de Comondú. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, p. 8-12. / H. VIII Los Cabos
Municpality. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, pp. 60-61.
water.6 In the hotel zones, which are much newer, proliferation of golf courses and

swimming pools in the current hotel developments (and those under construction) is a

prerequisite, despite limited water supplies.           It is particularly noteworthy that in Los

Cabos, water distribution tends to favor tourist resorts, while supply is not enough to

meet the local population’s demand. The water déficit in Cabo San Lucas is close to 30% -

the highest in the state.7

      Surprisingly, in La Paz the water scarcity problem is considered to be secondary8. In

addition to overall depletion of water supplies in the municipality, aquifers currently also

have increased saline intrusion.9 The municipal government has decided to recondition

some of the ejido wells of El Centenario to supply water to the city.10 Despite these

measures, water-intensive real estate complexes and tourist resorts continue to be

proposed, approved, and built (e.g., El Mogote, Costa Baja, Bahía de Los Sueños, Balandra,

Tecolote, Caleritas-Coyote).

      In rural areas, the use of water is mainly focused on agricultural irrigation. Over-

exploitation and agrochemical contamination are two aspects that have resulted from the

continued use of an outdated agricultural model, which has also resulted in reduced crop

productivity.11 The crop selection has also changed as a consequence of limited water

supplies, from highly-subsidized export products such as cotton ─ which in the seventies

   Meetings held at: Cabo San Lucas, Loreto, Guerrero Negro, Santa Rosalía./ Panorama Informativo,
newscast. Promomedios California. Host: Miguel Ángel Ojeda, April 15, 2004, interview with Ing. Lorenzo
Arriñaga, Manager of CNA-BCS.
   VIII Town Council of Los Cabos. Municipal Plan, Op. Cit. p. 60-61.
  (Community meeting at La Paz, June 1st, 2004.
  Panorama Informativo newscast Op. Cit., April 15, 2004, interview with Ing. Lorenzo Arriñaga, Manager of
   Panorama Informativo newscast Op. Cit., February 19, 2004, interview with Prof. Víctor Guluarte, La Paz
   José Urciaga-García, Rasgos fundamentales de la modernización agrícola en BCS de 1900 a 1991
(Fundamental features for the modernization of agricultura in BCS) Thesis for a Master’s Degree in Science,
UABCS, La Paz, 1992.
consumed a great amount of water in the Santo Domingo Valley ─ to other more

profitable crops aimed at other markets (chickpeas, orchards and vegetables). The

products consumed domestically (wheat and safflower among others) were changed to

sorghum and alfalfa, which prevail to date.             Although exotic crops demand excessive

water, their commercial value is high in the international market, and therefore, they

continue to be grown, despite limitations in water resources.

        Current and projected land use in the state’s coastal zone is crticial to determining

how marine and land (oases) water resources can be maintained sustasinably over time.

Certain types of developments tend to have an impact on large sectors of the coast and

protected bodies of water, which prevent other economic alternatives. The hoarding of

the territory for tourist infrastructure, the influence of contaminating industries

(thermoelectric plants, canning facilities, and saline and mining removal industries), and the

development of some aquaculture methods (white shrimp, large carnivorous freshwater

fish), can hamper riverside fishing and the recreational use of public beaches.

      Contamination of Groundwater and Marine Resources

      Both the origin and the effects of contamination on groundwater have relatively

similar characteristics in the rural and urban areas, although their perception by civic and

elected leaders is different. For example, not much is known about the existence of this

problem in rural areas; only one out of 25 ejido leaders that were interviewed mentioned

agrochemical contamination but considers it “normal”.12 On the other hand, most of the

ejido leaders interviewed expressed great concern about solid waste contamination due to

  Interview with Antonio Avilés, President of the ejido commissariat of Todos Santos, La Paz, October 6,
industrial waste (canning facilities), garbage, sewage and burnt oil, but did not equate this

contamination with water pollution. This indicates that they assume that groundwater is

not affected by what could happen “on top”.

        In addition, there is evidence that fecal and arsenic contamination is occurring in

groundwater wells, mainly in small, rural communities in Baja California Sur. Arsenic,

when consumed over a period of 5-10 years can cause cancer and diabetes. During 2004,

”Engineers for a Better World” at the University of California-Berkeley conducted tests in

24 communities, finding that 34% were contaminated above the federal drinking water

standards.13 This study was expanded to include 500 groundwater wells throughout the

state in 2005; to date, 34 communities have arsenic-contaminated groundwater. Floride

and saline contamination are also significant in terms of negative human health impacts. 14

Clearly, it is crucial that the water quality and water supply crisis be addressed. 15

       Water contamination in the state’s urban areas is a recognized public concern. The

public realizes that their groundwater, rivers, coastal and marine areas could be

contaminated by industrial product waste and sewage. However, highly-dense urban areas

are affected more than rural ones -- for example, the drainage infrastructure for Cabo San

Lucas covers just 59% of the municipality, but is 100% in outlying municipal areas, such as

Santiago, Miraflores and La Ribera.16 On the other hand, the poor condition of the

distribution networks could occasionally cause urban drainage percolation into the potable

water network.17 Finally, sanitary landfills, garbage dumps, and sewage stabilization ponds

    “AguaSalud Project” report,, 2004.
   Ganster, Paul. Personal communication, January 3, 2006.
   Gob. Del Estado de BCS, PEOT, Op. Cit., p. 11.
   The municipal plan by the 8th City Council of Los Cabos. Municipal Plan of…, Op. Cit., pp. 62-63.
   Panorama Informativo newscast Op. Cit., February 3, 2004.
in urban areas are often impacted by torrential rains and other natural disasters, causing

seasonal damage to rivers and marine areas.

      In the coastal zones and the marine environment, contamination is associated with

the urban settlements, the areas for commercial fishing and tourism, and industrial plants

to a lesser degree. This includes poor garbage management (organic and inorganic) and

sewage, either directly (thermoelectric, canning plants, urban zone, hotels) or by

stormwater runoff from areas with no sanitary services, flowing into the sea.

        The state government signed the Agreement for the Prevention, Control and

Combating of Contamination of the Marine Environment due to waste water and other

discharges into the sea, which four coastal states along the Gulf of California took part in

after an initiative from the Navy. Inspection and surveillance actions are a major part of

this agreement. As a result, agreements have also been signed with UABCS, CIBNOR,

and the Interdisciplinary Marine Science Center (CICIMAR) to focus on sea bird and sea

lion protection.         The greatest threat is to the San José del Cabo estuary, which has

been affected by nearby construction and water pollution to the maximum extent.

      Despite the impact on coastal and marine environment (and individual health) from

other types of water contamination, garbage on the beaches is a very public and prevalent

nuisance (used tires, casings, mechanical pieces, flexible plastic waste, miscellaneous

containers, pieces of branches, and solid waste in general). Industrial liquid waste is also

visible to the general public18, but mainly from burnt oil waste in mechanical and private

shops. The large municipal landfills also continue to be a high priority -- the plagues of

  Interview with Rodrigo Márquez Arellano, President of the Ejido Commissariat Gral. Melitón Albáñez, La
Paz, Otober 6, 2004.
flies, mosquitoes, rats, and domestic and street animals, as well as air polluttion from fires

are visible public health threats.

       Waste from the fishery slaughterhouses is frequent in coastal zones throughout the

state, but its volume is small because it coming mainly from small-scale, riverside fishing.

However, in the oyster (catarina scallop and mano de león oyster) fisheries in the Pacific

ocean and in the squid fishery in the Gulf of California, particularly Santa Rosalía where

the fishng of cephalopod is practiced massively during certain seasons, the waste is

disposed of directly on the beach and into the sea. In addition, trawl and flake fishing

contribute considerably to organic contamination even though the fleet is relatively small.

This practice is called “bycatch disposal”, defined as non-target fish, reptile, and marine

mammal species that are thrown dead back into the sea. Although the Upper Gulf of

California Biosphere Reserve is generally cited as the main are threatened by “bycatch

disposal”, this could be a problem is areas such as the Magdalena-Almejas laguna complex,

which concentrates 90% of the Baja California Sur’s shrimp fishing.19

       Contamination that has resulted from increased tourism is more of an indirect

problem that could potentially be solved through improved urban planning, regulatory

enforcement, and updated infrastructure. For example, in the marinas of Cabo San Lucas

and La Paz, oil, cleaning products, paint, and sewage are dumped overboard; these

practices also occur offshore near the islands and in the secluded bays that are commonly

used for anchorages and coastal fishing.

  García Borbón et al. 1996 and Ramírez Rodríguez 1996, in Estudio del Potencial Pesquero y Acuícola de
Baja California Sur (Study of the Fishery and Aquaculture Potentials in Baja California Sur) , Casas Valdéz,
M. and G. Ponce Díaz (eds.), SEMARNAP, state Gov.. BCS, FAO, INP, UABCS, CIBNOR, CICIMAR,
CETMAR. Mexico, 1996.
         The extraction of building material from coastal areas also destroys vegetation and

destabilizes the slopes. In addition, trash and rubble piles have emerged near construction

sites that are rarely cleaned up, affecting nearshore water flows, tidal zones, beach

replenishment, and nursery areas for fish. The San José estuary, the oasis of Todos Santos

and the Estero de Enfermería at La Paz are examples of coastal waters that have been

damaged by poor building practices.

           There are approximately nine million used tires in and around La Paz, located in

official and unofficial dumps. Regulations to the contrary aside, tires are imported on a

daily basis from the U.S. that have been used and discarded. Sometimes, fires break out,

creating toxic plumes that must burn themselves out because the local fire department

does not have the proper equipment to extinguish them. They are also a breeding habitat

for mosquitoes, the vector for dengue and hemorrhagic dengue.20 Examples exist in many

places for recycling used tires, using them for playground surfaces, as a replacement for

asphalt, and for recreational facilities and schools.

         Aquaculture projects have also been targeted in Baja California Sur as potential

sources of marine pollution as well as coastal habitat destruction, probably because their

operating characteristics are unknown and/or because their installation is quite recent.

Great controversy remains in academic circles about the impact of shrimp and

carnivorous fish farms, although the volume of information against the practice far exceeds

support for it. Baja California Sur must approach aquaculture carefully, to ensure that its

vibrant marine waters are not harmed. In fact, there is a long list of places that have

suffered the damaging effects of these types of projects, including the Red Sea, where

     Hambleton, Enrique. Personal communication, January 3, 2006.
cages have irreversibly destroyed the coral reef; and in Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico,

where shrimp farms have eliminated mangrove and wetland areas. Finally, there is

evidence that there are repetitive attacks of viruses and patogenic infections to the target

species (white shrimp).

       If carefully managed, aquaculture could be an attractive and economically viable

option in Baja California Sur. The state has native species with high socio-economic

potential, including 18 species of shellfish with high commercial maket value (par and

aggregate) (oyster, scallops, mano de león oyster, abalone, pearl oyster, nacar shell,

medium and large snails, etc.).21 The paradox is that during the last five years, initiatives to

install white shrimp farms (Magdalena-Almejas and Bahía de La Paz) have been submitted

by private businessmen, disregarding available native species that might be better suited to

local environmental conditions.            In addition, the state government and its research

consultants are promoting the installation of yellowfin tuna, saurel, and sea bass farms in

La Paz Bay, with foreign companies (Japanese, Canadian, and Israeli) that have restrictions

on aquaculture in their region and are looking for investment opportunities in Mexico.

      Natural Resource and Land Use

        With changes to Article 27 in the Mexican constitution that provide ownership to

ejiditarios of their communally-held lands, land speculation is growing in Baja California Sur.

Indiscriminate coastal development is destroying large parts of the landscape, while at the

same time, closing access to other development and recreational assets available to the

  Mario Monteforte, “Cultivo de ostras perleras y perlicultura”( The cultivation of pearl oysters and pearl
cultivation), in Estudio del Potencial Pesquero y Acuícola de Baja California Sur, Casas Valdéz, M. y G.
Ponce Díaz (eds.), SEMARNAP, state gov. BCS, FAO, INP, UABCS, CIBNOR, CICIMAR, CETMAR.
Mexico 1996.
community. Gradual privatization and the growing exclusivity of coastal land in what is

now known as “tourism corridors” have created tension in Los Cabos and La Paz. As in

the case of the coastal areas, the benefits in the inland agricultural region are enjoyed by a

few private players, while the day laborers (mostly immigrants) live under supervision in

impoverished conditions.

       Land speculation is usually for tourism development, which requires local natural

resources for construction. Forestry has not been well-regulated, and is intensifying, due

to demand for construction. Mangrove trees, mesquite, fig, ditch reed, palm trees (both

the trunk and palms), lapacho, desert ironwood, and highland grove are the target

resources sought by real estate developers to build large-scale tourist resorts (hotels and

residential complexes in marinas and on coastal land). In addition to the reduction in

native trees, the gardens of these tourism complexes have a multitude of non-native flora

that have been transplanted without any kind of qualitative control.

       Large-scale tourism developments are not the only culprit; deforestation is also

occurring in rural areas, where mesquite is used for carbon production.              In these

mountain communities, the lack of employment has resulted in the uncontrolled felling of

trees and other plants, causing a serious impact on the ecological situation. These

activities require an enormous number of trees with which to produce carbon.

       With regard to terrestrial fauna, the Peninsular bighorn sheep and pronghorn

antelope have been targeted for hunting permits, which provide financial benefits to

permit holders in exchange for habitat management. At the present time, this situation

favors intermediaries to the detriment of the local ejiditarios and ranch owners, who are
working toward organizing themselves with the support of the SEMARNAT delegation in

Baja California Sur.

    Problems Faced by the Different Players and Conservation Schemes

       As demonstrated in the sections above, the origin of the protected areas in Baja

California Sur is as diverse as the environments in which they are focused, but they face

similar challenges: insufficient budget; the indifference of some sectors of the population of

the region, as well as public officials at state level; and the constant pressure from the

devastating processes of economic growth.          We consider that one of the biggest

challenges at the moment that should be faced by the administrators and the nonprofits

involved in this matter is to defeat the false idea that conservation is the enemy of

development, and demonstrate that conservation is in fact an indispensable condition for

development to take place in lasting, equilibrium and fair conditions.

       Another kind of problem regarding conservation, which is perceived to be an

alternative social process, is the lack of financing and resources for the development of

environmental nonprofits. There are many under-capitalized organizations in the state

(many of which lack basic technical elements such as computers, archives, premises,

Internet) with no access to international financing sources. The operating conditions of

most local nonprofits are worsened by the lack of philanthropic culture in Mexico. As a

result of these conditions, nonprofit organizations depend on the few governmental

resources aimed at getting them involved in solving large and complex environmental

problems and on their ability to obtain the voluntary involvement of members of the civil

       It can be understood that the launching and eventual continuity of large-scale

development projects require a considerable amount of social effort. In some cases these

projects have resulted in a radical transformation of the productive orientation of the

regions. In other cases, the operating support required by these projects exceeds the

regional capacity, both for basic resources and for infrastructure and logistics (for

example, immigration of labor, handling of waste products, services, etc.), so provoking

the current and/or future deterioration of different levels of the social and environmental

equilibrium. The Maya corridor (in Quintana Roo state), the Bahías de Huatulco complex

(Oaxaca state), the Los Cabos corridor (Baja California Sur) are a few examples of the

many mistakes made in the name of development that exist in Mexican coastal areas.

These resorts, which were previously beautiful coastal regions populated by fishermen,

are now home to social inequality, prostitution, drug trafficking, poorly paid jobs, an

insurmountable deficit of public services and a quality of life in growing deterioration. To

these problems we can add severe environmental problems related to the misuse of

natural resources and environmental aggression.

       As a consequence of the above, science and technology studies applied to the

conservation and sustainable development are scarce in Baja California Sur. Although

conservation initiatives should be based on information of this kind, which does in fact

occur in many cases, the proposals lack real productive alternatives and fail to make use of

the natural vocation of these areas.      This seems to be due to the fact that not all

specialists (in their respective fields of research) are open to altruistic participation, or

believe that their efforts are not paid sufficiently with regard to the time dedicated to this

task. This is obvious in the characteristics of the UMAs that have been created in the
state, all of which are concentrated in some land fauna and flora species, while aquaculture

has been practically forgotten. The lack of other alternatives could be a reflection of the

above in the sense that practically all UMAs handle natural populations of some species

under hunting schemes, while only one is dedicated to breeding and propagation with

technology contributed by private parties. In a similar sense, the previous paragraph

referred to the fact that sea cultivation technology, which tends to be more complex,

requires the evaluation and participation of governmental and/or research and higher

education institutions.   The eventual confluence toward the UMA scheme implies a

complex dynamic of groups, and should also consider the fact that people involved in the

fishing sector, with a few rare exceptions, have shown themselves to be reluctant to try it.

       It is also important that we consider that one of the obstacles against the

reinforcement of the conservation scheme represented by the Protected Natural Areas

(PNA) is the lack of knowledge among the population of the true meaning of conservation.

The general feeling in the communities within the PNAs is that conservation implies the

closure of any kind of productive activity in the area, along with an unawareness as to

whether these actions will benefit them or not. This problem is directly related to the

lack of communication among the key participants as well as the way research institutions

make the results of their studies known to the general public.         Only two or three

comments arising from community meetings and interviews with the common land

owners refer to the presence of local institutions, of which only one (CIBNOR) has

shown any kind of continuity. Human communities within the current natural protected

areas are generally linked to the government sector (through personnel assigned to their

handling, who depend on CONANP) and, to a lesser extent, to the environmental
nonprofits, which are responsible for establishing the lines of communication between

those involved. However, this reveals little propagation of the conservation programs due

to the lack of adequate strategies for the socialization of science and the transfer of

technology. A greater and more responsible participative effort by the higher education

institutions involved would be extremely useful in this context.

        Obstacles and Problems Affecting Conservation in Different Regions

           Although the lack of financing for the tasks that allow the controlling of

incompatible uses of landscapes with conservation and protection, and that favor the

development of activities that are compatible with conservation, is a general problem, it is

important that we specify the kinds of challenges to be faced in each part of the state.

           One of the matters that have concerned the population of La Paz in general, and

the environmental sector in particular, is the sale of Mogote and the planned “Paraíso del

Mar” tourist development there. The main problems implied by this project include the

destruction of the mangrove swamps and a large part of the vegetative cover in the 40

kilometer stretch to be uncovered for the access road, as well as the high level of impact

on water consumption in the city. The businesspersons involved assure that the project

will only involve the destruction of 1% of the mangroves, and that the water used for the

golf course will be desalted and treated with the latest technological systems.

Nevertheless, there is a great deal of reticence among the population of La Paz regarding

this mega project.22

     Panorama Informativo newscast, Op. Cit, February 16, 2004.
       Another sensitive and local aspect of the problem is the threat to the Cabo Pulmo

National Park (PNCP), which covers 7,111 hectares and includes the only solid reef in the

Gulf of California, as well as being one of only three reef systems on the western coast of

North America. Unfortunately, the reef is threatened by: the bleaching of the coral, the

development of constructions on surrounding land, and the increase of sediments caused

by said development, along with the lack of regulations for fishery and snorkeling activities.

Ever since its beginnings, the Park has suffered a shortage of financing, an administration

plan and personnel. The beaches of the PNCP are used for nesting purposes by five of the

seven marine turtle species in danger of extinction, which are threatened by furtive

hunting and unrestricted vehicle transit.23

       The islands in the Gulf of California, despite being NPAs, have not managed to

resolve the problem of the introduction of alien species. This is the case of the insular

complex of Espíritu Santo, where domestic cats are one of the species that have been

introduced. “There is very little information about them, and we can only suppose that as

on other islands, these mammals capture wild species, in particular birds still in the nest

and small native rodents, so limiting the natural populations and possibly endangering their

permanence in the insular complex.            Several groups agree that accelerating their

extermination is necessary and urgent, as is the development of mechanisms for the

control and prevention of new invasions.”24

       The Sierra de la Laguna Biosphere Reserve has a series of problems identified in

the Management Program elaborated in the year 2000. The first large problem mentioned

refers to boundaries. “The boundaries in the Reserve are only defined in plans and

  Noticias de Pro Península, Vol. 2, year 2003, p. 1.
  CONANP, Espíritu Santo Insular Complex Management Program Mexico, SEMARNAT, Mexico City
2000, p. 54.
documents, but there are no physical boundaries or signs to define the zones in the

Reserve that indicate restrictions of activities that could cause damage.”25 The Reserve

suffers serious deficiencies on a budget level, which generates deficiencies of equipment,

infrastructure, signs and personnel, nor does it have PROFEPA inspectors, which means

many misdemeanors are not penalized. This zone has always been exposed to the use of

its natural resources, mainly due to livestock activity dating from two centuries ago in the

region, and the extraction of forestry resources either legally or illegally. “Extensive

livestock farming and clandestine forestry activities have caused a progressive

deterioration of the vegetative cover, which in turn causes laminar and gully erosion,

mainly in the northwestern (San Simón and San Pedro El Frijolar) and the northeast (San

Antonio de la Sierra) regions.”26 The increase in caprine animals in the region, which is

promoted by official programs, is threatening due to the way they are managed, as with

bovines, in an extensive manner. Feral animals, consisting mainly of bovines and porcines,

also cause serious damage to the renewal of the vegetation.

       At the moment there are no mineral extraction activities on the Reserve, although

in the northwestern region this activity is presented as a threat to the biodiversity of the

region.27 The communities within the Reserve are sources of labor for other areas due to

the lack of employment opportunities within it. There is no productive diversification and

the area depends almost exclusively on traditional animal farming, meaning labor forces

(mostly young persons) are obliged to emigrate to seek better opportunities, with the

main destinations being the cities of Los Cabos and La Paz, and the jobs available being

mainly in the service sector. Emigration from the communities within the Reserve and the

   CONANP, Sierra de Laguna Biosphere Reserve Management Program, Mexico 2000, p. 58.
   Idem., p. 59.
   Idem., p. 58.
sale of their lands, which is caused by necessity, have repercussions in the conservation of

natural resources as new inhabitants arrive who lack sufficient knowledge of the

environment they are going to live in. The tourist activities developed in the Reserve are

disorganized and have insufficient supervision. Young persons from the cities close to the

area tend to camp in large numbers in the centre of the Biosphere Reserve during

vacation periods, an activity that is uncontrolled and has very serious negative impacts on

the area.    Despite this fact, ecotourism and organized tourism are still considered

sustainable productive alternatives for the region.

       In the area of the Bahía de Loreto National Park, natural resources are lost and

deteriorated due to the application of incorrect use techniques caused by growing social

needs and a lack of knowledge of natural processes. Added to the above is the presence

of independent tourists and tourists accompanied by untrained guides, which generates a

potential damage on the islands which is also worsened by the presence of “pirate”

companies that carry out trips without the corresponding permits. An example of this is

illicit recreational fishing activities, which are carried out on the islands visited by tourists

and either organized by a tourist service company or carried out independently. The

problem presented by recreational fishing activities is the lack of knowledge of the

extractive capacity of the fleet and actual catching levels, which means it is impossible to

establish regulatory measures of fishing practices. Another problem (noted by commercial

fishermen) is that current legislation does not establish closed season periods for

recreational fishing activities, which means species are caught during pregnancy.

       With regard to commercial fishing in Bahía de Loreto, according to the fishermen,

the main resources with a high commercial value (red snapper, cabrilla, sea bass, clam and
shark) have been over exploited and exhausted in the last twenty years, with the main

causes being considered the use of nets called chinchorros (used for trawler and drift net

fishing) with small spaces between the meshes that catch young fish; illegal fishing with

harps and scuba diving equipment; the accidental catching of young fish of species of

interest for riverside fishing (snapper, cabrilla, sea bass, sole, among others), and the

arrival of fishermen from other states seeking to maximize earnings in as short a time as


        It can be considered that another serious problem in the Park area is the impact of

the introduction of exotic flora and fauna to the islands, which compete for space, food

and nutrition with native species. The local species are not able to adapt to this kind of

competition and become the prey of some of the newcomers (such as native mice that

become the prey of newly arrived cats). On Carmen Island the species introduced are

city rats (Rattus sp.), cats (Felis catus), dogs (Canis familiaris), rabbits (Silvilagus sp), Cimarron

sheep (Ovis canadensis ); on Coronados Island the species have been cats (F. catus) and

goats (Capra hircus), although it is considered that after eradication work has been carried

out, there will be no exotic species left; on Danzante Island the fauna to be eradicated is

the cat (F. catus), while on Santa Catalina and Montserrat islands the exotic species are the

cat (F. catus) and the goat (C. hircus). The presence of some palm trees, brackish pine

trees and undergrowth weeds are examples or vegetation introduced onto the islands and

some small islands of the Park region.28

  CONANP, Management Program, Bahía de Loreto National Park, Mexico, SEMARNAT, Mexico 2002,
pp. 38-41 y 66.
3. Capacity of Attention to Environmental Problems

           3.1 Government Response and Co-investment

           Francisco Flores González, legal representative of the National Forestry

Commission (CONAFOR), who is responsible for forestry programs originally carried out

by SEMARNAT, has established agreements with the Municipal Ecology Coordinator in

Los Cabos to initiate a reforestation program in the San José marshlands after the damage

caused by recent hurricanes in the area. Reforestation activities are supported by a group

of young persons, and the plants will be provided by the municipal government (which

produces them in plant nurseries).29

           In order to resolve the problem of potable water in the Los Cabos municipality,

five wells will be sunk in the short term (three in Cabo San Lucas and two in San José del

Cabo), the distribution networks will be rehabilitated, and protection, automatization and

coloration system work will be carried out on wells and aqueducts damaged by hurricane

“Juliette”. The aim is that in the long term (the next fifteen years) a desalination plant will

also be built with capacity for 200 lps in Cabo San Lucas. A complete diagnosis of the

operating organism in charge of the potable water and drainage service will be elaborated

with 75 per cent financing from BANOBRAS. The project for construction of a new

aqueduct, treatment plant and water and drainage networks will be performed, as will

construction of the infrastructure required for the distribution and storage of the potable

water produced by the desalination plant in San Lucas.30

     El Sudcaliforniano, state newspaper. April 2, 2004, p. 1F and 5F.
     Los Cabos City Council. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, pp. 61-62 and 128-129.
        The correspondent from the Panorama Informativo news program in Los Cabos,

Leticia Hernández, has announced that treatment plants will be operational in La Ribera,

the total cost of which will be eight million pesos.31

        The municipality of Loreto is working on the promotion of activities in the fishery

sector based on the principles of productivity and improvement of the productive

processes to achieve community development.                These activities are coordinated with

academic and research centers in order to obtain the correct development of the sector

through aquaculture projects and investment, so leading to a better use of the species.

“Controls” will also be established to improve protection of the species concerned, while

permits, authorizations or concessions will be obtained for fishermen who have been

working in the area for a long period of time, and the feasibility of establishing a collection

center for fishery products will be studied. A revolving fund will be created for this

purpose to attend to the needs of the fishery population, and so equip the sector.32

        The Mayor of the municipality of La Paz has reported that the state Tourism

Coordination      Office    and    environmental       authorities      meet   constantly   to   avoid

contamination of water in the Bay and promote its certification as a pollution-free area in

order to promote tourism.33

        In the case of the municipality of Mulegé, the state Governor has reported that

eight desalination plants have been built in the Pacific North region.34

        The elaboration of the Hydraulic Plan in the Municipality of Mulegé will also be

discussed with the federal and state governments, and the Comprehensive Sustainable

   Panorama Informativo newscast, Op. Cit., April 19, 2004.
   Loreto City Council. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, p. 34.
   Panorama Informativo news program, Op. Cit., April 12, 2004.
   Idem., February 24, 2004.
Agriculture and Productive Re-conversion Plan in Areas of Recurring Drought will also

continue in order to store water for animal use (construction of dykes, rubblework walls

and water basins) and to recharge the aquifers. In accordance with the Water Law of the

state of Baja California Sur, the Town Hall will propose that the Potable Water and

Drainage System define more precise and strict rules regarding volumes of potable water

for industrial use, including tourist service companies such as hotels, marinas, port

services, etc.35

           For the care and protection of peninsular pronghorn deer, one of the subspecies of

Antilocapra americana peninsulares reproduced in the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve region

(in 1990 there were only 125 examples, the species was in danger of extinction, mainly

due to modification of its habitat), the then Ministry of the Environment, Natural

Resources and Fisheries, the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, the nonprofit Espacios

Naturales, Desarrollo Sustentable A. C. and the Ford Motor Company launched the

“Peninsular Pronghorn Deer Recovery Plan” by means of a campaign entitled “Save the

Pronghorn”. The aim of this plan was reproduction in semi-captivity, elimination of furtive

hunting, increase of knowledge of the behavior of the species and environmental

education among local inhabitants.36

           In order to carry out management of the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, and

in consideration of the fact that its main objective is sustainable use of the area, it was

decided that the Management Program would involve the different sectors that interact in

the region. Collaboration commitments were also established that, through joint work,

would lead to compliance of the aforementioned goal.                   In order to assure that this

     City Council of Mulegé. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, p. 22.
     TIPS magazine by Aeroméxico, Baja California Sur, Number 24, summer of 2002, p. 63-68.
objective be met, as of August 31, 1999, the Assessment Board of the Reserve was set up,

consisting of representatives of the different sectors having inherence in the area (state

Governor, SEMARNAT Delegate, Director of the Reserve and representatives of the

government, academic, social, civil and business sectors).37

       In the case of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, the principal objective of the

Management Program is to plan and provide the elements required for its management,

consisting of strategies and actions for conservation, the use of its natural resources and

the organization of productive activities in the region. For operation of this Program,

mechanisms have been established for the reconciliation and coordination of the different

persons involved who participate in the area, whereby on May 14, 1997, the Reserve

Technical Assessment Board was created, in which government representatives, academic

institutions and research centers, social organizations, common land owners,

communities, land owners and tenants, business organisms or members of the private

sector and non-governmental organizations take part.38

       In 1997, the Management Program of the Espíritu Santo Insular Complex started to

elaborate and have as its main objective the definition of the management and planning

strategy for conservation of the Complex. It features, among other components, the

institutional organization and coordination of the different sectors involved with the use

and conservation of the insular complex (government offices, private firms and the local


   CONANP, Sierra de La Laguna Management Program, SEMARNAT, Mexico 2003, p. 74.
   CONANP. El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve Management Program, Mexico, SEMARNAP, Mexico City
2000, pp. 41 and 120-121.
   CONANP. Espíritu Santo Insular Complex Management Program, Mexico, SEMARNAP, Mexico City
2000, pp. 20 and 88.
       At the moment, thanks to the initiative of the National Protected Natural Areas

Commission (CONANP), the Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá, A. C. (Niparajá

Natural History Society) has delivered a feasibility study to CONANP aimed at evaluating

the possibility of enlarging the boundaries of the Protected Natural Area of the Espíritu

Santo Insular Complex. By means of a participation process, Niparjá established proposed

boundaries by coordinating the consultation process, facilitating dialogue between the

different sectors and, as a final result, delivering to CONANP the justification study with

the recommendations and opinions offered by the users involved.

       The Bahía de Loreto National Park Management Program has as its main objective

the definition of management strategies for the preservation of the natural resources in

the Park and the restoration of its environments by promoting the development of the

communities within it. It currently consists of a Technical Assessment Board (established

on September 17, 1999), which acts as consultation and social participation office and

consists of representatives of the government sector (federal, state and municipal),

centers of higher education and research, the productive sector and non governmental


       The Gulf of California Islands Flora and Fauna Protection Management Program

was created in order to establish a conservation strategy to protect the insular

ecosystems by promoting the sustainable use of the natural resources in the region. The

Program also includes a Technical Assessment Board (created in November, 1998) in

  CONANP. Bahía de Loreto National Park Management Program, Mexico, SEMARNAP, Mexico City
2002, pp. 20 and 88.
which government offices, the private sector, social organizations, non governmental

organizations and academic institutions take part.41

        In the case of protection and management of the Cimarron sheep, in the year 2000

the then SEMARNAP elaborated the Project for the Conservation, Management and

Sustainable Use of the Cimarron Sheep (Ovis canadensis) in Mexico, which is part of the

recovery strategy framework for priority flora and fauna species (PREP) and that also

allows an indirect protection of other species. The case of the Cimarron sheep (species

included in Official Mexican Standard NOM 059) acquires particular relevance, given that

it is of great cultural and economic tradition for the northern part of the country, and

allows (thanks to its value to hunters) the generation of jobs and revenues that are

compatible for the conservation of the species and its habitat. Its instruments include the

incorporation of land where the species can still be found into the System of Wildlife

Conservation Units (SUMA), which permits a planned, orderly management of the species

and its habitat that is compatible with its social development. It should be mentioned that

this conservation, management and sustainable use model already operates in Baja

California Sur, although it does face a number of problems on a regular basis.42

        As part of the ecological organization of the territory of Baja California Sur, the

state and municipal governments have been participating in a number of different actions

aimed at complying with the Ecological Ordinance for Urban and Tourist Development of

the Bahía de La Paz Region and its Area of Influence, and the Northwestern Biological

Research Center (CIBNOR) started to elaborate the state ecological ordinance project.

   CONANP. Gulf of California Islands Flora and Fauna Protection Management Program, Mexico,
SEMARNAP, Mexico City 2000, pp. 16 and 133.
   SEMARNAP. National Institute of Ecology. Project for the Conservation, Management and Sustainable
Use of the Cimarron Sheep (Ovis canadensis) in Mexico. Mexico City, 2000. pp. 5 and 11.
Consultations on the Ecological Ordinance Administration of the Sea of Cortez were also

held, the aim of which was to make known the mechanisms for the instrumentation of the

Ecological Ordinance for the region. As part of the conservation and environmental

education actions, the Aquarium of the Californias Museum project was launched as an

important space for diffusion, education, preservation and research.

       The Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) has exercised

resources for the realization of the following projects: a) the study of the genetic origin of

flora in the state; b) the determination of the current state of populations of large whales

in the Gulf of California and a proposal for the management and protection for said

cetaceans; c) a retrospective study (1973 to 2001) of the environmental impact and

degradation of natural resources in the La Paz basin; and d) the elaboration of the Cabo

Pulmo National Park Management Program.

       With regard to judgments passed on environmental matters, the Ministry of Urban,

Infrastructure and Ecological Planning (SEPUIE) issued technical opinions on fishery,

tourism and highway infrastructure projects. Regarding the control of environmental

emissions, the Ministry issued functioning licenses and operating permits to the industrial

sector, and also carried out a public consultation on the San José del Cabo Marshland

Reserve Management Plan in order to provide orientation for recovery and conservation

actions in this area. The SEPUIE also took part in the Ordinance of the Gulf of California


       The state government signed the Agreement for the Prevention, Control and

Combating of Contamination of the Marine Environment due to waste water and other

discharges into the sea, in which four coastal states on the Gulf of California took part
after an initiative from the Navy. As part of this agreement, inspection and surveillance

actions will be promoted for the conservation of the Marine Environment. As a result of

the Conservation Programs, agreements have also been signed with the UABCS, the

CIBNOR and the Interdisciplinary Marine Science Center (CICIMAR) in order to serve

the Sea Wolf and Sea Bird programs with the intention of uniting efforts for the attention

and protection of species in this area.

       In 2003, the ceremony of rescue and conservation of Espíritu Santo Island took

place organized by the Gulf of California Islands Flora and Fauna Protection Area, which

announced conclusion of the expropriation of land located on the island. This complex

process was carried out with the collaboration The Nature Conservancy (TNC),

Conservation of the Mexican Insular Territory A. C. (ISLA), the National

Foundation for Environmental Education (FUNDEA) and the National Commission of

Protected Natural Areas (CONANP).

       In order to promote actions aimed at controlling the management of hazardous

waste, the federal government channeled resources to the “Crusade for a Clean Mexico”

and “National Crusade for Forests and Water” programs. As part of the “Crusade for a

Clean Mexico” program, authorization was obtained for the installation of a collection

center fir temporary storage of burnt oils in Guerrero Negro.

       With regard to environmental impact actions, the Scientific Consultation Board on

Environmental Impact Matters of the state of Baja California Sur was established, which

consists of the Rector of the UABCS, the Directors of CIBNOR, CICIMAR, the Center of

Technological Sea Studies (CETMAR), the National Institute of Forestry, Bird and
Livestock Research (INIFAP) and the La Paz Regional Fishery Research Center (CRIP – La


        With the participation of the Ministry of Social Development (SEDESOL),

resources were invested in a program entitled “Design and Implementation of an

Environmental Education Program to Improve the Quality of Life of the Inhabitants of

Communities near San José Island” and for an environmental diagnosis to identify

sustainable productive activities in two fishing communities in the area of influence of the

Loreto Bay National Park.43

        3.2 Response of nonprofit organizations

        Amigos para la Conservación de Cabo Pulmo (Friends for the Conservation of

Cabo Pulmo, ACCP) was created by members of the local community who were

concerned about promoting the conservation of the natural resources of the Cabo Pulmo

Marine Park. Its programs include supervision of the sea turtle, in particular the following

programs and projects. The grace and distinction of the sea turtle and the enthusiasm to

bring it to the coastline to be marked means that members of the community have taken

the decision to get involved in this process. The ACCP carries out monitoring on a

monthly basis of the sea turtle and has participated in six workshops and national and

international conferences on how to establish and manage Protected Maritime Areas. The

federal decentralization of administration of the Protected Natural Areas and conservation

of the sea turtle is another important point. The ACCP has also held meetings and

workshops on the conservation of the sea turtle, has initiated creation of a local voluntary

  Government of the state of Baja California Sur. 5th Government Address 2003-2004, Leonel Cota Montaño,
pp. 130-134.
surveillance committee with the help of the Federal Attorney’s Office for Protection of

the Environment (PROFEPA), with which a formal cooperation agreement has been

signed. A support network has been established with other nonprofits in Baja California

and the United states, and the association also works with a number of academic

institutions. One aim is to initiate a program of supervision and control of the coral reef

with the development of an international team of scientists who work in the Sea of

Cortéz and the UCLA Reef Control department.44

           Centro de Estudios Costeros (Center for Coastal Studies) prepared the Second

Conservation of the Turtle Festival. The efforts to conserve nests on mainland beaches,

which began almost 30 years ago, have had little effect on recovering the population; the

depredation of this species in Comondú is such that there are shell cemeteries on some

beaches, a sign of the lack of surveillance by federal authorities.45

           Sociedad de Historia Natural Niparajá, A. C. (Niparajá Natural History Society)

is an organization that currently develops the Comprehensive Conservation Project in the

San Cosme – Punta Mechudo Corridor (located between La Paz and Loreto, and covering

part of the municipalities of La Paz, Comondú and Loreto), the components of which are

the socio-environmental diagnosis of the San Cosme – Punta Mechudo Corridor,

identification of sustainable productive alternatives, community social organization, market

studies of fishery and agro-fishery products; aquiculture feasibility studies for fish and

mollusks, and the diagnosis of the “El Bosque - La Soledad” micro-basin. The organization

also develops the proposal of the territorial ecology ordinance program of the Loreto

Coastal Plains; the proposal to enlarge the Bahía de Loreto National Park; the creation

     Report by Pro Península, Vol. 2, year 2003, pp. 1-2.
     El Sudcaliforniano newspaper Op. Cit., April 2, 2004, p. 1A
and launching of operations of the Baja California Sur Fund for Protected Natural Areas

(FOSANP or “Friends of Wild Baja”); the strengthening of the infrastructure and

management of the Espíritu Santo Island insular complex; the organized expropriation of

Espíritu Santo Island; the elaboration of the Support Guide for Environmental Education

for elementary level teachers in Baja California Sur; the reactivation of civil organizations

in Baja California Sur in favor of conservation and sustainable development; the

reconstruction and maintenance of rural schools in the San Cosme – Punta Mechudo

Corridor; support for families living in the Corridor through rural schools in order to

develop elementary education levels and, with adults, through productive training

programs, social organization and the seeking of sustainable production programs,

community training, productive projects and support for elementary education.            250

people of all ages have been benefited in the Corridor thanks to these programs.

       Colectivo Sierra de La Laguna A. C. (Sierra de La Laguna Collective) carries out

the identification of community needs in San Dionisio (Sierra de La Laguna) and

workshops on environmental sanitation aimed at rural tourism in San Dionisio.           The

Collective has also held community workshops with the women of the area. One of its

programs planned for the future is the promotion of alternative production projects

through community participation that will allow sustainable development in mountain

communities; the development of programs for alternative tourism (ecotourism, rural

tourism and solidarity tourism); the strengthening of farm culture through the sale and

valuation of typical products; the identification of priority areas for the conservation and

development of pathways.
       Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A. C. (Community and Biodiversity, COBI)

proposes the promotion of participative management of marine and coastal resources for

community development and conservation of biodiversity through the strengthening of

community participation aimed at conservation. The organizations focuses a large part of

its efforts on defining, administering and promoting strategies and models aimed at

sustaining river fish stocks. Other complementary strategies aimed at resolving the same

problem include the promotion of environmental education and sustainable productive

alternatives such as ecotourism. Through the community development program, COBI

aims to promote new ways to involve local participants in fishery activities based on

collaboration, strategic alliances and the creation of new sustainable riverside fishery

models.    Its most important achievements in Baja California Sur include two river

locations as candidates for certification as sustainable fishing grounds, the design of a fund

for the conservation of the Gulf of California, environmental education materials that have

contributed to information on marine conservation for fishery producers and vendors,

lobster fishery certification by the Marine Stewardship Council, and the monitoring of the

Bahía de Loreto National Park in the long term.

       With regard to productive organizations in rural areas, we would like to mention

the Federación Estatal de Propietarios Rurales, A. C., (state Federation of Rural

Owners), which runs programs to attend to problems related to land ownership, rural

development, federal government programs promoted by different offices of the state


       The Asociación Sudcaliforniana de Protección al Medio Ambiente y la

Tortuga Marina de Los Cabos, A. C. (ASUPAMATOMA or Baja California Sur
Association for Protection of the Environment and the Sea Turtle in Los Cabos) performs,

among other actions, the coordination of two camps for the protection of the sea turtle in

Cabo San Lucas and one in Todos Santos. It also executes a preventive environmental

education program in schools in the municipality of Los Cabos and guided visits for

families in the camps where they are invited to take part on weekends. With these

actions the organization has been able to protect 20 kilometers of beach in Los Cabos and

36 kilometers of beach in Todos Santos. It has also freed over 60,000 baby sea turtles,

and 8,000 children have taken part in its environmental education program. In the future

it is considering establishing a sea turtle protection corridor on the Pacific coast from

Cabo San Lucas to La Paz and obtaining a clinical analysis and study laboratory for the

recovery of sea turtles in Cabo San Lucas.

       Defensores de la Bahía de Cabo San Lucas, A. C. (Defenders of Cabo San

Lucas Bay) have, informally and prior to the creation of the group, held a series of

workshops with the Directorate of Protected Natural Areas and other authorities in

order to provide ordinance for the Protected Natural Area of Cabo San Lucas. The

group aims to establish the Assessment Board of the Protected Natural Area of Cabo San

Lucas Bay, along with its management plan, and seek financing sources for any studies that

may be required.

       Dolphin Human Care Foundation, A. C. aims to promote a healthy, clean and

safe environment for dolphins and other sea mammals and ensure the return of Aqua and

Leonee, Salsita and Nachito to their future installations, which will be used for emergency

attention for trained, rescued, domesticated and wild sea mammals for their recovery and

rehabilitation of return to their natural habitat. The group will also set up a hospital and
laboratory for sea mammals, offer assessment services for the rescue of sea mammals for

government offices and other institutions, interactive therapeutic swimming with dolphins;

curative services with trained and wild dolphins; elaborate interactive education programs,

services and summer camps for children of all grades; create a sanctuary for retired

dolphins; and hold educational ecological tours for observation of wildlife.

       Escualos de México, A. C. (Sharks of Mexico) publishes a weekly column on the

marine environment in El Sudcaliforniano, a newspaper based in Baja California Sur. It has

also established collaboration agreements with CICIMAR and UCDavis in two scientific

research projects on whale and white sharks, and launched a proposal for a “Justification

Study of a Prohibition Period on Shark Fishing in Mexico during the Reproductive Season”

project. In the future it will continue with its environmental awareness and education

program; will produce three short films (30 and 60 seconds) for television and cinema to

make the Mexican audience more sensitive to the impacts our daily actions have on the

marine environment, such as pollution, excess fishing and the excessive use of species in

danger of extinction; produce a 30-minute educational video for junior and senior high

school students on the species of shark, manta and ray of commercial and aesthetic value

in Mexico, their habitat, ecology, reproductive biology, ecological importance, importance

for the fishing industry, the state of fishing grounds and alternatives. In this phase the

organization has a letter of support from the US National Science Foundation; will enlarge

its workshops for children entitled “Children’s Encounters for the Conservation of the

Gulf of California”, an initiative of the Aquarium of Mazatlán.        The organization has

established relations with the Aquarium in order to get children from camps in the Baja

California peninsula and, at a later stage, from other parts of the country, involved in these
workshops.          It will establish a network called “Tiburoneros” and expand its “Red de

Tortugueros” network initiated by Dr. Jay Nichols of ProPeninsula and Dr. Raquel Briseño

of the National Autonomous University of Mexico – Mazatlán, with whom the group has

established collaboration agreements. The aim of this program is to create awareness and

provide orientation for persons working in artisan fishing activities in Baja California,

Sonora and Sinaloa regarding the regulations established by the Official Mexican Norm

NOM 029, and how to apply it for sustainable use of sharks and rays and the industry in


           Grupo Ecologista Antares, A. C. (GEA or Antares Ecological Group) runs a

community information center for visitors (exhibition hall, library, audiovisual room and

information service); protects reproduction sites of cabrilla, garropa and porgy fish; offers

support to operation of the Bahía de Loreto National Marine Park with sea crafts, fuel,

payment of security personnel and construction of huts; monitors and surveys sea turtles

and will build a station for protection and study of the animal. It also operates a 300-

hectare GEA nature ranch in Sierra de la Giganta where it will build a station for study and

protection of threatened land species (Cimarron sheep, cacti and deer); promotes the

updating of laws and regulations on conservation matters. The group also organizes two

trips a week to ensure there are no more threats endangering the life of sea lions and to

count the numbers of males and females in each of the main sea lion packs in Loreto:

Punta Lobos on Coronado Island; Punta Lobos on Carmen Island; Caleras on Montserrat

Island and Roca San Marcial, an islet located a little to the south of the Agua Verde fishing


     Idem., April 21, 2004, pp. 4 and 6.
       Grupo Tortuguero de Todos Santos, A. C. (Todos Santos Turtle Group) holds

surveillance actions in nest areas; incubates turtle eggs; creates awareness and holds talks

in educational institutions in the community; carries out preventive work (handing out of

leaflets and pamphlets); and works with families through video conferences. It considers

that the capturing of Chelonia turtles in the region has been reduced considerably thanks

to its activities. It aims to organize a turtle nursery; build its own incubator for turtle

eggs; elaborate a permanent information program in the community and increase the

number of the species.

       Unión Protectora Ecoturística de la Biosfera del Vizcaíno A. C. (Ecotourism

Protector Union of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere) holds surveillance actions on the behavior

of lagoons to detect preventive irregularities. It organizes environmental education camps

and supports municipal delegations regarding the correct use of waste products. It has

proposed that municipal authorities and delegations implement the urban development

plan and control the chaotic development of the population of the area.

        Museo Ballenero de Baja California Sur, A. C. (Baja California Sur Whale

Museum) has established its purpose as keeping the local population informed of the

conservation of cetaceous mammals. It continues with its actions aimed at rescuing the

Museum, which has been closed, with serious damage being caused to its installations and

property. In the future it aims to elaborate and launch a program entitled “Environmental

Education through Art”, in order to inform children (from kindergarten age to teenagers)

in the city of La Paz.

        Tierra, Mar y Desierto, A. C., (Land, Sea and Desert) aims to offer human quality

to unprotected communities, mainly women and children, in order to better their quality
of life and help their development.      It has undertaken training actions with women

receiving economic support from the state government, and has launched a project

entitled “Entrepreneurial Women in Baja California Sur”, working with 400 women in the

five municipalities of the state, mainly Comondú and Mulegé, which has allowed it to

detect their enormous needs. It has elaborated participative community diagnoses for the

identification of sustainable activities, and also aims to carry out a sustainable development

diagnosis focused on gender in La Purísima, San Isidro and Ley Federal de Aguas 4 and 5

(common land communities). It will administer resources to finance the launching of

productive projects for women in situations of violence and for the promotion of health

awareness and inequality of gender and, finally, will work to establish links throughout the

state for the detection of women’ needs.

       Sistemas Naturales y Desarrollo, A. C., (Natural Systems and Development)

aims to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of rural communities in the state

through improvement of their capacities as a result of a participative environmental

education process.     It currently operates a program aimed at creating community

environmental promoters in La Ventana, El Sargento, Palma Sola and San Evaristo, and

promotes sustainable rural tourism in Palma Sola. This organization aims to launch a

program with the community promoters in their communities and initiate an

environmental sensitivity and solid waste management program in Pescadero.

   Los Ángeles del Estero, A. C. (The Angels of the Marshland) aims to protect

threatened species and rescue, conserve and develop sustainable projects to save the

marshlands of San José del Cabo by observing the management plan and developing

sustainable projects. It currently channels reports of existing problems in said marshlands;
carries out cleaning programs in the area; creates documentation with photographs of

local flora and fauna; and keeps an updated list of bird species in the area. It has also

launched the creation of a seed bank of native plants, and has adapted a report entitled

“Moist Lands, a Place of Life”, produced by Pro-Esteros. In the future it aims to offer

workshops on moist lands to students of all levels (preschool to high school); create a

nursery of native plants; carry out progressive reforestation in the area upriver of the San

José stream; elaborate a radio program offering environmental education; participate

actively in protection programs for threatened species; and enter into agreements with

public and private organizations.

   Ciudades Hermanas de Santa Rosalía, A. C. (Santa Rosalía Sister Cities) is a group

that arose thanks to the promotion of the Mulegé Town Hall and the Club de Leones. It

currently receives and allocates donations through municipal delegates and sub-delegates

to identify the different problems existing in the region.       It carries out cleanliness

campaigns throughout the municipality of Mulegé; detects the needs for medical

equipment and medicine in hospitals; visits families with ophthalmologists to perform

consultations and provide glasses where required.       In the future it aims to develop

programs in the municipality on the environment, civil protection, support for people with

special needs and elaborate investment projects.

   Mulegé Alerta, A. C. (Mulegré Alert) is an organization that operates in the

“Sombrerito Beach Aquatic Park”. It currently has 50 per cent progress of a project

aimed at providing all services required for national and foreign tourism, and published a

magazine entitled “Mulegé Mágico”, which promotes the municipality of Mulegé as a
tourism destination. It proposes to continue with the Sombrerito Beach project and the

magazine and launch a project entitled Marshland Walks.

           3.3 Response from other Sectors

           With regard to research in fishery activities, the Northwestern Biological Research

Center (CIBNOR), the Interdisciplinary Marine Science Center (CICIMAR) and the

Autonomous University of Baja California Sur (UABCS) have continued with their

research and study activities in order to generate the scientific and technical elements

required to provide orientation and ordinance for fishery activities, and make progress on

the development of aquiculture.47

           The Villa Constitución Livestock Association called a meeting of farmers from

mountain communities, who welcomed the visit from institutional representatives and

mentioned the need for productive options, as the corresponding authorities have

restricted the felling of trees for carbon production, which is a source of employment in

these areas. They requested support with the repopulation of their caprine and bovine

flocks and genetic improvement with better breeds. The representative of organic

products from Los Cabos, Manuel Rangel Vázquez, announced the program to take place

in the communities concerned (Palo Bola, Tequesquite, San Luis Gonzaga, Tepentú and


           The San Carlos-based School for Field Studies reports that five of the seven

species of sea turtle that exist in the world arrive to this coast for reproduction, but that

the areas are not safe for protection of the process and preserve the species. SFS has

     State Government, 5th Government Address, Op. Cit., p. 91
     El Sudcaliforniano newspaper, Op. Cit., April 21, 2004, p. 1A.
recruited young persons from the United States, bought some land for housing and

installation of an educational institution, and requires the corresponding permits for these


           In an interview, Oscar Reséndiz Pacheco of the UABCS; Dr. Víctor Gómez of

CICIMAR and Dr. José Luis Fernández, external assessor of the UNAM Energy Institute,

mentioned that the UABCS will offer assessment to public and private firms on energy

saving, and that La Perla de la Paz, the Ministry of Education and the UABCS already have

a pre-diagnosis that will enable them to take responsible measures to save electrical

energy. CICIMAR carries out solar energy studies to evaluate the possibility of social

housing and reduce the level of absorption of this kind of energy in consideration of the

kind of building, roofs, etc. Houses are now completely dependent on traditional energy

sources, but this situation could improve with the use of local materials, a possibility that

would also be more economical. The UNAM considers that urban design in La Paz is not

the ideal due to distances between residential areas and workplaces, which complicates

the creation of services and results the generation of time loss and possible criminal


4. Needs

           In support of management programs in the Protected Natural Areas, it is necessary

that financing activities with the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and other multilateral

organizations and international nonprofits continue in order to support conservation and

restoration projects, sustainable use and research, as well as community development.

     Panorama Informativo newscast, Op. Cit. (April 02, 2004).
     Idem., (February 17, 2004)
These resources may be exercised by the National Commission of Protected Natural

Areas (CONANP) or through third parties.51

       Baja California Sur has distinctive characteristics and iconographies with regard to

the biodiversity of species on land, marine and fresh water areas, such as alternatives that

human developments should adopt in order to establish on and live alongside uncultivated

landscapes, in many cases considered insular. In order to place the natural wealth of the

state in its proper dimensions and appreciate its inherent fragility, we need to identify

alternatives and choose strategies in a responsible and intelligent manner. This implies

knowledge of the problems of the area and evaluation of the threats that, in the name of

socioeconomic development, have been practiced by decision makers. In order to stop

the plundering of the natural resources of the region, it is necessary that we study it in

depth, evaluate the social and environmental cost of each project to be developed in the

area. It is also necessary that productive alternatives be designed to enable sustainable

use of the natural and human capital of the state.

       Independently of the evidence of environmental deterioration and the harmful

effect this has on the quality of life in the area (both factors associated with incorrect

management of the environment), the environmental problem is largely due to the lack of

a government office responsible for administering the environmental wealth of the state in

an honest and intelligent manner.          It is necessary that the contents of the state

Development Plan 1999 – 2005 be met, especially with regard to a state Ministry of the

Environment, and also to the characteristics of the regional environment and economy, as

in order to achieve promotion of sustainable development, is it desirable that the Ministry

  National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), Working Program 2001-2006,
SEMARNAT-CONANP-PDN, ISBN 968-817-514-5, Mexico City, p. 50.
of Economic Development and the aforementioned state Ministry work together as a

single office.

      In addition, it is important that environmental education and community

development efforts be reinforced along with alternative participative production

strategies as a means to improve the level of life in rural and coastal areas of the state.

      In interviews held with common land authorities, the general need for sanitary

landfills was stated, as in most cases waste products are deposited in open air pits, which

provokes air pollution (and the generation of flies and terrible odors) and visual pollution.

Few common land areas have sanitary landfills.

      In urban areas, in particular La Paz, Los Cabos, Loreto and Ciudad Constitución, it is

necessary that the state of sanitary landfills be reviewed, as there is no proper handling of

solid waste products or hazardous waste. It is also necessary that recycling projects be

developed in which the population can participate, such as the establishment of paper and

card, plastic and aluminum recycling plants. The resources obtained from these plants

could be used to promote cleaning, environmental education and domestic recycling


      In general, it is necessary that the use, consumption and distribution of potable

water be reconsidered.      Municipal potable water and drainage offices require aid to

modernize and repair the system in order to avoid waste and leaks, which are a constant

problem. It is also necessary that a culture of water care be implanted, as people waste

the liquid considerably. Another consideration could be charging more for the service and

making water consumption more efficient.
      For the conservation and sustainable growth of oases, it is proponed to promote

the declaration of Baja California Sur’s oases as a World Heritage site.52 To investigate and

study the potentialities of each of the oases to establish development programs that can

generate employment and foreign currency, and for civil society and the three branches of

government to raise awareness in the communities so that they realize the importance of

oases and the benefits –community, economic and environmental – arising from their

conservation and sustainable exploitation.

      Investigation needs to be promoted to increase knowledge of the oases, through

support for obtaining financing, and in addition the creation of radio and television

programs that promote the awareness-raising of the people of Baja California Sur so that

they will be the principal agents in the conservation of oases. It is also necessary to devise

production programs that allow the conservation and best use of the oases by generating

income for their inhabitants. Another need is to promote activities that permit the

importance of oases in regional history and culture. It is urgent to work closely with the

communities that live on the oases for them to strengthen the knowledge and

appreciation of their microregions. Once the management of the oases is established it

will be possible to begin the process that will make it possible to promote the declaration

of the oases of Baja California Sur as Natural-Cultural World Heritage sites..53

        4.1 Needs of the Municipality of Los Cabos

    Cariño, Micheline, Importancia de los..., Op. cit., p. 6.
   CIBNOR, UABCS, SEMARNAT, Primera reunión sobre los oasis de Baja California Sur. Importancia y
Conservación, Epílogo. Mecanograma. La Paz, B.C.S., 14 de noviembre de 2002 (original de la memoria en
prensa), pp. 1-2.
           Community participation is necessary to help conserve potable water supplies, and

an effort needs to be made regarding water saving education and culture, with the

participation of organizations and clubs in community campaigns and with promotion in

the media by using billboard advertisements.54

           In accordance with meetings with nonprofit organizations, federal, state and

municipal officers, as well as representatives of the academic and research sectors, it was

determined that environmental problems in the municipality can be resumed as

contamination, depredation and plundering of natural resources, lack of support for

environmental problems and lack of environmental information and promotion programs.

Contamination caused by garbage (solid waste) is mainly found in beach areas, streams,

streets, freeways and dumps, while water pollution is considered a serious problem in the

marine and land environment (such as the San José marshland area and Enlatadora beach

in Cabo San Lucas).

           The depredation and plundering of resources is another serious problem, with the

plundering of sand from river beds, illegal fishing and illegal tree felling being the main

problems. The lack of resources and support for environmental programs means it is

impossible to carry out environmental education programs, surveillance, monitoring,

conservation, information campaigns, etc.                In this sense, support for environmental

education is an enormous need, and a number of problems need to be looked at in order

to resolve this issue. Supporting environmental education programs and campaigns favors

social participation, so contributing to attention being paid to the needs of the region by

     Los Cabos City Council. Municipal Plan of Los Cabos, Op. Cit,, pp. 61-62 and 128-129.
the community itself, without waiting for other persons or offices to do so. The need for

training programs for authorities and nonprofits was also expressed.

        4.2 Needs of the Municipality of La Paz

        With regard to protection of the environment, protection is an urgent priority that

should be directed towards recovery and conservation (understood to be the satisfaction

of basic human needs and collection of the waste products derived from said needs) based

on a modern and efficient legal framework that makes development and the surroundings

compatible. Environmental planning and ecological ordinance55, environmental education56,

efficient administration57 and environmental conservation58 instruments, along with the

control and prevention of contamination59, should be the basis used to maintain the quality

of life of the inhabitants of the city and the municipality.60

        The future growth and development of the municipality of La Paz should be carried

out in line with sustainability and rationality criteria, and for this reason the government

has proposed elaboration of the Ecological Ordinance Plan of the Municipality of La Paz

Municipality (Plan de Ordenamiento Ecológico del Municipio de La Paz), which will be the

normative legal framework used to instrument planning, urban regulation and cadastral

actions and strategies. With the participation of architects and engineers, the Urban

Development Master Plan of the City of La Paz and Tourist Areas of the Municipality (Plan

   Conclude, approve and report on the case of Bahía de La Paz.
   Through permanent programs with educational institutions, nonprofits and research centers.
   With the decentralization of functions.
   Compliance of environmental impact studies required by law in constructions involving flora, fauna, urban
image and cultural heritage.
   Disposal, correct management, processing and final use of hazardous waste; revision of contaminant
emissions from motor vehicles; disposal of waste water from rivers and bodies of water in urban areas; report
and correct compliance of sanctions applicable to persons carrying out contaminating works, activities and
   XI La Paz City Council. Municipal Development Plan, 2002-2005, pp. 24 and 27.
Maestro de Desarrollo Urbano de la Ciudad de La Paz ) (Los Barriles, Todos Santos, El

Pescadero and La Ventana) will be established with a long term vision (25 years). The

downtown area of the city will be improved with the gradual creation of public parking

lots; the next step will be the remodeling of the Bahía de La Paz boardwalk and

rehabilitation of the city’s waste water plant; Advisory Board will also be created for the

planning of the urban development of the municipality.61

           In order to comply with the potential and rational use of water, it is necessary that

the administrative and operating processes be modernized, which implies construction and

enlargement of priority drainage and potable water works in the city.

         Forty per cent of water in La Paz is wasted due to poor conditions of the

distribution network and incorrect handling by the general public, which means there is an

urgent need to rehabilitate some commonly-owned wells in the community of El

Centenario to provide water for the city.62

           According to information provided by nonprofit organizations, federal, state and

municipal officers and representatives of the academic and research sectors during the

community meetings, the problems identified on a recurring basis were the lack of

environmental education and a general lack of knowledge on environmental matters.

There are no communication campaigns on this matter, and surveillance strategies are

insufficient, while environmental deterioration leads to deterioration of the landscape,

which in turn affects tourist activities. It was said that many of the motor vehicles are

very old models and do not have proper maintenance, which means they pollute more

than is necessary. There is no ordinance of activities and uses that could be given to the

     Idem., pp. 19-20.
     Panorama Informativo newscast, Op. Cit. February 19, 2004.
area, and there seems to be no planning focused on achieving sustainable development.

There is a deficit of human resources with sufficient preparation for protection of the

environment; no government support for protection and conservation of the

environment; solid waste management campaigns are insufficient and have very little

impact; there is no strict application of the law, which is also inefficient; and traditional

producers have no profitable possible alternatives available to them.

       In light of the above, it is proposed that: community surveillance committees be

trained by SEMARNAT and PROFEPA; the general public receive training in community

self-management; alternative productive activities be found and support provided for

existing proposals in this sense. It was also proposed that the natural resources of Baja

California Sur be promoted in the media, along with their importance, and that volunteer

activities and conservation of the environment be promoted as priorities, as well as the

creation of credit and financial facilities for alternative productive projects.

       Finally, it was highlighted that there is a need to create a state development plan in

conjunction with the civil society and organizations that represent it. For this purpose the

following aspects are required: closer links with institutions and experts; improved

legislation; the establishment of organization, tourism training, social participation, solid

waste management, environmental education and strategic planning programs and that

possible financing sources be investigated, that people work as volunteers in the Protected

Natural Areas and that ecological ordinance and social participation programs be


       A state Network of nonprofits needs to be created and hold informative and

coordination meetings on a regular basis, report on the facilitation of financial support
sources for organizations and for the creation of programs. It is also necessary that the

establishment of new areas under conservation or protection schemes be promoted.

       There is a real sense among a number of persons in the environmental field in Baja

California Sur that the creation of a government office in charge of legislating, planning,

regulating and providing follow-up for environmental problems is needed. It is considered

necessary that the environmental problems that have been detected are closely related to

the productive aspects, in particular the lack of productive alternatives.

       4.3 Needs of the Municipality of Mulegé

       As a result of the meetings held with nonprofit organizations, federal, state and

municipal government officers and representatives of the academic and research sectors,

it was concluded that the main environmental problem in the municipality basically

consists of sea pollution caused by an excess of artisanal fishing and contamination caused

by solid waste and other waste products emptied into the coastal area during the squid

fishing season. There is a lack of attention in the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve Protected

Natural Area and there is no knowledge of how many animals are included in special

protection schemes, and the problem is worsened with the immoderate exploitation of

the fauna in the area.

       There is also a lack of proper sanitary fills or drainage in many communities in the

area, nor is there a garbage management program (added to the fact that the local

population has a lack of education in this matter), management of waste water does not

guarantee sanitation in the area and potable water supplies, of which there is little, are

badly used. A great problem is the little or no surveillance carried out by environmental
authorities. Another series of problems are due to old land and water vehicles, often

with badly kept engines, that generate a great deal of pollution, while in the short term the

age of these vehicles provokes the increase of junk yard sites around the cities, as there

are no spaces specifically destined for this.

       One alternative that has been proposed to resolve these problems is an increase in

surveillance and strict regulations to avoid depredation and contamination. It was

suggested that environmental education programs be reorganized to promote water care,

the care of animals in danger of extinction, education on garbage disposal and care

(valuation) of resources and for persons working in fishing activities. Another proposal

was the creation of a program with children responsible for surveillance activities, a

collection center and the establishment of signs and advertisements to promote care of

the environment. The need to channel economic resources was also recommended, as

was the need for an environmental education program and latrines in communities and/or

a drainage and water treatment system in some areas.

       Another point made was trust in the citizen committees that exist as part of the El

Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve scheme, and the affirmation that said committees have

identified the needs of the communities and the region, as well as agreements, and that all

that is required is funds in order to launch the programs. Another point of agreement

was the request for a sculpture of a grey whale to be the symbol of the town, represent

the biological importance of the area and reinforce the commitment of the local people

regarding the natural resources offered by the region. It was also mentioned that the

donation of more trucks will help resolve the problem of solid waste.
       In light of the main problems identified above, the need for an urban ordinance

program was established, as was the creation of compost using waste products generated

by the processing of different marine products and the need for alternatives to obtain

benefits from the entire product, in particular with regard to the shells. A space or

project needs to be created to deal with the problem of used tires. Alternative tourism

needs to be promoted and a stamp of quality implemented for products from Guerrero

Negro. The aquifer should be studied to find out its actual conditions; a general program

of instruction, professionalization and education from an environmental perspective

should be established for all sectors of the population; an improvement program of

existing infrastructure for solid waste management is required and studies need to be

carried out to offer productive alternatives to the communities.

       The common land communities of Gral. Emiliano Zapata 2 and Gral. Emiliano

Zapata 3 expressed that one of their needs is the creation of a Wildlife Conservation Unit

(UMA) for deer management, as already exists in the Benito Juárez community. Another

community, Díaz Ordaz, is currently requesting a UMA for management of pronghorn

deer. It was also mentioned that there is a lack of environmental education, mainly in the

case of children, and that financing is required to establish a serpentarium and for whale

watching activities. The common land community of San Ignacio requires training in the

handling of used car oil.

       4.4 Needs of the Municipality of Loreto
          Most current ecotourism activities on the islands do not create direct benefits for

their conservation. This situation is repeated in the case of the use of the area by private

boats and yachts, and it is necessary that a project be designed to enable these profits to

be invested in conservation of the Park.

          In order to obtain proper management of the natural resources of the Bahía de

Loreto National Park, it is necessary that a culture of conservation of its natural riches be

promoted.        It is therefore very important that environmental education actions be

developed and that information on the activities carried out by the Park be made known

in order to achieve collaboration among the different social sectors and participation of


          With regard to the need for coordination and agreements, the local communities

and users in general need to be made part of the planning and management processes,

while the participation of academic institutions, non governmental organization and

regional, national and international institutions interested in conservation of the Park’s

natural resources needs to be promoted.

          It is also very important that concrete actions be promoted among the different

municipal, state and federal governments involved in their respective competencies in this

area in order to obtain congruence among their programs and the planning process.63

          In order to create ordinance of the urban growth of the city of Loreto, three

strategies were established: enforcement of the ecological ordinance plan; definition of the

Urban Development Normative Plan, which will have normative permanence with a 30-

year vision; and promotion of the creation of territorial reserves. The lines of action are

     CONANP, Management Program, Op. Cit., pp. 39, 71 and 73.
to provide orientation for the urban growth of the city of Loreto towards the north and

west; apply the urban regulation for Loreto and San Javier; and promote the creation of a

municipal sanitary landfill.64

           For proper management of waste products, it is necessary that the collection

service be provided to the whole population in a timely fashion; the collection, removal

and disposal of solid waste should be efficient; the technical capacities of the personnel

working in this field should be improved, as should the equipment used to provide the

service. It is therefore necessary that the service be systemized in order to have control

over the personnel and equipment; the destination of solid waste should be created and

controlled, as should its classification and use and continuous training provided to public

service personnel. The lines of action include the elaboration of a sectorization program

in the city to achieve full coverage of this service; application of an awareness program for

classification of solid waste; promotion of the installation of a collection center with

companies involved in the recycling of paper, card and plastic, and the creation of a

sanitary landfill.65

           In the fishery sector, the objectives of the municipal administration are the

promotion of activities in the sector with principles of productivity and improvement of

the productive processes in order to develop the communities involved in coordination

with the academic and research sectors for proper development of the sector through

aquaculture and sustainable fishery projects to ensure optimum use of the species.

Controls are also required to improve protection of the species, and permits,

authorizations or concessions should be granted to persons who have been working in

     IV Loreto City Council Municipal Plan , Op. Cit., p. 29.
     IV Loreto City Council. Municipal Plan of … , Op. Cit., p. 29.
the fishing industry in the area for long periods of time. A feasibility project is required to

establish a collection center for fishery products. A revolving fund should be created for

this purpose to meet the needs of the population involved in fishery activities and so

achieve growth of the sector.66

           The recurring problems mentioned during the meeting held by the communities

with different sectors were as follows: pollution caused by garbage; the over exploitation

of natural resources; the lack of environmental culture and education; and the lack of

information programs on environmental matters. These problems could be resolved by

programs           and   campaigns   with   communication,   education   and   information   on

environmental matters, and this was considered to be the most relevant need. This need

implies financial resources channeled towards organizations working in this sense.

           4.5 Needs of the Municipality of Comondú

           The lack of employment in mountain areas has resulted in excessive felling of trees

and other plant species, which has a serious effect on the ecological equilibrium of the

area. Silent activity has taken place for decades in the case of non-wood forest products,

while a large number of trees are also felled for the production of carbon. The problem

of indiscriminate felling of forestry resources could be reduced if it were compensated

with alternative productive programs involving the community.

           The common land community of Ley Federal de Aguas No. 3 mentioned the need

for increased surveillance to avoid the illegal extraction of desert ironwood trees, and

greater organization regarding the Wildlife Conservation Unit (UMA) applicable to

     Idem., p.34
     Cimarron sheep in the community. Another community, Tepentú, considers it is

     necessary that different productive activities other than the elaboration of carbon need to

     be carried out, and that management of the UMA for Cimarron sheep needs to be

     modified, as it is currently rented from a private party, and it would be preferable if it

     were handled directly by the community.

     5. Opportunities for Donations

             5.1 Donations

                     Region           Kind of                                           Beneficiaries
     NGO                                               Needs to Be Resolved
                    and Place        Donation
                                                   Conservation of the natural       Conservation of
                                                   capital of the state through      natural areas in the
                                                   programs such as:                 state, benefiting
                                                   - Comprehensive                   entire population
                                                   conservation project of the       Over 250 persons in
                                                   San Cosme - Punta                 communities located
                                                   Mechudo corridor (includes        in the San Cosme -
                                                   municipalities of La Paz,         Punta Mechudo
                                Financial support
                                                   Loreto and Comondú).              corridor with basic
                                for strengthening
                                                   - Elaboration of                  education,
                                of equipment and
                                                   environmental education           environmental
   Sociedad de                  infrastructure to
                                                   support guide for                 education, and
 Historia Natural               improve impact
                                                   elementary teachers in all        sustainable
  Niparajá A. C.      state     (vehicles, field
                                                   the state                         productive projects
(Niparajá Natural               equipment,
                                                   - Reconstruction and              Initiatives of
 History Society)               furnishings and
                                                   maintenance of rural              territorial ordinance
                                office equipment);
                                                   schools in San Cosme -            and enlargement of
                                increase in human
                                                   Punta Mechudo corridor            protected areas to
                                resource base for
                                                   - Training for adults in          benefit the present
                                                   productive programs, social       and future of the
                                                   organization and search for       people of Baja
                                                   sustainable productive            California Sur
                                                   - Ecological ordinance
                                                   proposals in coastal plains
                                                   of Loreto and enlargement
                                                 of National Park
                                                - Creation and launching of
                                                operations by the Baja
                                                California Sur Fund for
                                                Protected Natural Areas
                                                Carrying out of sustainable Rural communities
                            Resources to        development diagnoses       in the state, in
                            launch actions for focused on gender            particular women
                            women in rural      Operation of productive
  Tierra, Mar y
                            areas (attention to projects for women
 Desierto, A.C.
                    state   violence, women’s Creation of center of
 (Land, Sea and
                            rights, sustainable attention for women
                            development and Creation of links
                            productive          throughout the state to
                            projects)           detect women’s needs

                            Financing for                                      The population in
                            elaboration of                                     general and children
                            support material                                   in particular, by
                            for environmental                                  promoting
                                                 Promotion of
                            education and                                      environmental
                                                 environmental education
                            awareness                                          culture
                                                 through annual workshops
                            projects,                                          Helping avoid the
                                                 for children (July each year)
                            consisting of the                                  extinction of sea
                                                 entitled “Children’s
                            production of                                      species such as the
                                                 Encounters with
                            three short films                                  shark
                                                 Conservation in the Gulf of
                            aimed at
  Escualos de                                    California”
  México A.C.                                    Helping conservation of
                    state   sensitivity
   (Sharks of                                    marine species and
                            regarding the
    Mexico)                                      ecosystems, in particular,
                            impact of excess
                                                 sharks and similar species,
                            fishing and
                                                 through promotion of
                            contamination of
                                                 protected marine areas
                            the environment
                            and an educational
                            video (for junior
                            and senior high
                            school students)
                            on species of
                            shark, manta and
                            ray in Mexico
                            Financial support    Promotion of                   Population of the
  Comunidad y
                            for long-term        environmental education        state, in particular
Biodiversidad A.
                    state   programs and         Promotion of sustainable       by promoting
 C. (Community
                            hiring of trained    productive alternatives such   environmental
and Biodiversity)
                            human resources      as ecotourism                  culture and
                                                  Helping achieve                sustainable
                                                  sustainability of river fish   productive projects
                                                  stocks through the design,
                                                  administration and
                                                  promotion of a strategy
                                                  Promotion of projects to
                               Financing to       allow sustainable
                               create networks    development in mountain
Colectivo Sierra               that will enable   communities, such as the
 de la Laguna A.               the group to       work carried out in San        Inhabitants of
 C. (Sierra de la              continue           Dionisio (Sierra de La         mountain
                   of La Paz
     Laguna                    elaborating        Laguna) in environmental       communities
   Collective)                 sustainable        sanitation and rural tourism
                               productive         projects
                               projects           Identification of priority
                                                  areas for conservation
                                                  Helping resolve the
                                                  problem of the production
                                                  of orchards (due to lack of
                               Economic support water) through the
                               for the            “Sombrerito Beach Aquatic
                               continuation of    Park” project as a different
                               the “Sombrerito    tourist alternative (50 per
Mulegé Alerta A. Municipality Beach Aquatic       cent progress made, will       Inhabitants of the
C. (Mulegé Alert) of Mulegé Park” project and have all services to meet          municipality
                               maintenance and the needs of national and
                               revision of the    foreign tourists)
                               promotion of       Help with creation of jobs
                               tourist activities by attracting tourism to the
                                                  region through distribution
                                                  of its “Mulegé Mágico”
    Ciudades                                      Elaboration of programs on
  Hermanas de                                     the environment, civil
                               Financing for                                     The population of
  Santa Rosalía, Municipality                     protection, help for
                               operation and                                     the municipality of
   A.C. (Santa     of Mulegé                      persons with special needs
                               organization                                      Mulegé
  Rosalía Sister                                  and the elaboration of
      Cities)                                     investment projects
                               Donation of        Information on
                               portable           environmental education
                                                                                 Communities of La
                               electronic         through program to create
                  Municipality                                                   Ventana, El
SINADES, A. C.                 equipment, GPS,    environmental promoters
                   of La Paz                                                     Sargento, Palma Sola
                               walkie talkie      in La Ventana, El Sargento,
                                                                                 and San Evaristo
                               radios, satellite  Palma Sola and San Evaristo
                               telephone          comunities
                                equipment and       Promotion of sustainable
                                financing to        rural tourism in Palma Sola
                                continue with       community
                                Financing for
                                conservation of     Rescue and conservation of
Museo Ballenero
                                museum building,    Whale Museum and design
de Baja California
                   Municipality construction of     of “Environmental          General population
 Sur, A.C. (Baja
                    of La Paz another two           Education through Art”     of the state
  California Sur
                                buildings and       program to serve the
Whale Museum)
                                equipping of the    population of the area
                                                   Working with the
                                                   Directorate of Protected
                                                   Natural Areas in the
                                                   ordinance of the Cabo San
                                                   Lucas area by organizing
Defensores de la                Financing to hire
                                                   workshops to help organize
 Bahía de Cabo                  personnel to serve
                    Cabo San                       boat activity in scuba diving   Community of Cabo
San Lucas, A. C.                and coordinate
                      Lucas                        areas near the Arco de          San Lucas
 (Defenders of                  activities of the
                                                   Cabo San Lucas
 San Lucas Bay)                 organization
                                                   irregularities occurring in
                                                   the Bay, such as
                                                   contamination due to
                                                   deficiencies in drainage
                                Financing for      Environmental education
                                infrastructure,    campaigns
                                equipment and      Protection of threatened
  Ángeles del                   operating          species (sterna antillarum)
    Estero         San José del expenses;          Rescue, conservation and        Community of San
A. C. (Angels of      Cabo      economic support development of sustainable        José del Cabo
the Marshland)                  for development    projects to save San José
                                of sustainable     del Cabo marshlands
                                projects in San
                                José del Cabo
                                                   Surveillance in areas of
                                Financing to       nesting and incubation of
                                continue           turtle eggs
 Tortuguero de
                     Todos      conservation and Creation of awareness and         Community of
Todos Santos A.
                     Santos     surveillance       talks in educational            Todos Santos
C. (Todos Santos
                                project in turtle  institutions in the
 Turtle Group)
                                nesting beaches    community
                                                   Preventive work: handing
                                                   our of leaflets and
                                                   Working with families by
                                                   showing video conferences
                                                   Promotion of
                                                   environmental culture
                                Economic           through information center
                                resources to       with exhibition hall, library,
Grupo Ecologista                strengthen         audiovisual room and
      Antares                   program            orientation service
                   Municipality                                                   Community of
  A. C. (Antares                promoting culture Protection of sites where
                    of Loreto                                                     Loreto
     Ecological                 of the             cabrilla, garropa and porgy
      Group)                    environment and fish
                                conservation of    Surveillance and monitoring
                                natural resources of operations in Bahía de
                                                   Loreto National Marine
                                                   Park and of sea turtles
                                                                                  The inhabitants of
                                Financing for      Environmental education        Guerrero Negro, in
                                education and      campaigns for young            particular
                                conservation       persons, children,             producers, by
Unión Protectora                campaigns aimed producers and general             providing them with
Ecoturística de la              at sustainable     public                         information and
    Reserva del                 productive         Balanced management of         training in
  Vizcaíno A. C.    Guerrero projects and for      whale watching activities in environmental
   (Ecotourism       Negro      construction of    Ojo de Liebre lagoon           matters
Protector Union                 small jetty to     Monitoring and prevention Municipal
of the El Vizcaíno              improve services of environmental                 authorities by
     Reserve)                   and offer tourists contingencies throughout       providing
                                a better image     the year                       professional
                                                                                  assessment in the
                                                                                  correct handling of
                                                                                  waste products
 de Protección al
Medio Ambiente
   y la Tortuga                 Economic           Contribution to the
  Marina de Los                 resources for      creation of environmental
                                                                                  Community of Los
   Cabos, A. C.    Los Cabos program of            culture in new generations
 (Baja California               courses and        Protection of sea turtle
 Sur Association                workshops          species nesting in the area
for Protection of
the Environment
    and the Sea
   Turtle of Los
                                                     Creation of dolphin
                                                     aquarium with sufficient
                                                     infrastructure to ensure a
                                                     healthy, clean and safe      If this project takes
Dolphin Human               Financing for            environment for dolphins     place, it will benefit
Care Foundation   Los Cabos construction of          and other sea mammals        the people with
     A. C.                  dolphin aquarium         and offer therapeutic        special needs in Los
                                                     interaction of animals and   Cabos
                                                     humans, mainly focused on
                                                     the rehabilitation of
                                                     persons with special needs

     5.2 Volunteer Work

                                      Kind of
                  Region and
      NGO                           Volunteer          Needs to Be Resolved           Beneficiaries
                                 Professionals                                    Inhabitants of the
  Colectivo                                          Offer rural communities
                                 and university                                   community of San
  Sierra de la                                       different labor options by
                                 students willing                                 Dionisio
  Laguna A. C.    Municipality                       creating sustainable
                                 to take part in
  (Sierra de la   of La Paz                          productive projects
                                 workshops and
                                 People willing to
  SINADES, A.     Municipality   work in training    Help enlarge the radius of
                                                                                  Community of La Paz
  C.              of Paz         and promotion       action of the NGO
                                 of rural tourism
  de Protección
  al Medio
  Ambiente y la                  Volunteers
  Tortuga                        willing to
  Marina de Los Municipality     monitor turtle      Help conservation of the     Community of Los
  Cabos A. C.     of Los Cabos   species in          turtle                       Cabos-
  (Baja                          nesting season
  California Sur                 (June to March)
  for Protection
  of the
and the Sea
Turtle of Los

Defensores de                    conservation of
la Bahía de                      the bay and
                                                    Help conservation of the
Cabo San                         willing to
              Cabo San                              Cabos San Lucas bay           Inhabitants of Cabos
Lucas, A. C.                     collaborate in
              Lucas                                                               San Lucas
(Defenders of                    inspection of the
Cabo San                         area and the
Lucas Bay)                       realization of
                                 activities related
                                 to conservation
Grupo                            Volunteers
Tortuguero de                    willing to
Todos Santos Todos               monitor the                                      Community of Todos
                                                    Conservation of the species
A C. (Todos   Santos             nesting of the                                   Santos.
Santos Turtle                    Laud turtle in
Group)                           the region

          5.3 International and Bi-national Cooperation

          At present, some local organizations work with international and national-level

  organizations to support their conservation programs:

                   The Natural Conservancy (TNC) on specific conservation projects

                   Conservación Internacional (CI)

                   IMAC Mexico

                   Global Greengrants Fund

                   Monterey Bay Aquarium (California, USA) on scientific research projects,

                   Blue Planet Institute

                   Wild Aid
   American Elasmobranch Society

   Seawatch

   World Wildlife Fund works in the state in the establishment of marine

    reserves in the Gulf of California.

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