• .He reiterated Mexico’s commitment to ensuring that 17 percent of the national territory and 10 percent of the oceans will be protected areas by 2018.
  • He instructed SEMARNAT, SAGARPA and SEMAR to find a mechanism to extend the protection of this Archipelago, beyond what we now have the obligation to protect.

When he received the UNESCO certificate declaring that the Revillagigedo Archipelago is part of the World Heritage List, President Enrique Peña Nieto confirmed Mexico's commitment that by 2018, two years ahead of schedule, 17 percent of national territory and 10 percent of our seas will be protected areas.

”This will mean that this part of our country will be cared for, protected and preserved for the good of Mexico,” he added.

He said that the Mexican government, “Will continue to work for the environment and care for our natural wealth, to make this our greatest contribution to development and a legacy for future generations”.

At the event, the president thanked the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “for its decision to make the islands of the Revillagigedo Archipelago a Natural World Heritage Site”.

“As president, I am delighted to receive this certificate from the UNESCO representative, certifying that this set of islands, the Revillagigedo Archipelago, has now been declared a Natural World Heritage Site”.

President Peña Nieto instructed the Secretaries of Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, and the Navy and to find a mechanism to, “Extend the protection of this Archipelago, beyond what we are obliged to preserve today”.

He said that Revillagigedo, “Contains perhaps the greatest maritime wealth in our country”.

He said that Mexico is mega-diverse. “Occupying just 1 percent of world geography, Mexico is home to 10 percent of the world’s marine species, many of them endemic.”

Explaining that Socorro Island, one of those in the Revillagigedo Archipelago is 700 kilometers from Manzanillo, the president thanked the Mexican Navy, for the great task of, “Caring for Mexicans, but also for our protected natural areas”.

REVILLAGIGEDO CONSTITUTES A NEW FUTURE AND AN OPEN WINDOW TO RESEARCH: NURIA SANZ, UNESCO REPRESENTATIVE IN MEXICO

Nuria Sanz, UNESCO Representative in our country, said  that, “Mexico continues to fulfill its role of global responsibility,” through World Heritage.

She said that, “Mexico is a key ally in achieving the 14th goal of the Sustainable Development Agenda,” and told President Peña Nieto,  “I have not been in any other country where a World Heritage certificate has been presented every year, which is thanks to your mandate”.

 “We are fortunate to be here and experience the commitment of your government every year. I have had the good fortune to see these extraordinary places that are already World Heritage sites, with you and Mexican citizens,” she said. She said that, “It has been impressive to see a landscape that is still virtually untouched, unsullied, and pristine,”  which only happens in very few places on earth, just eleven uninhabited archipelagos.

She explained that the Revillagigedo Archipelago comprises a vast selection of biological corridors, ecological processes, and a great seascape that is unique in the world. “Imagine: nowhere else in the world contains two thousand large cetaceans”. “Revillagigedo constitutes a new future and a window open to research,” she said.

She added that very few World Heritage sites enjoy the collaboration of federal authorities and, in this case, the presence of civil society, government secretariats and academia, as well as guest international and national experts. “That is really important, and was highlighted by the UNESCO Committee,” she said.

Nuria Sanz said that, ”Year after year, we are so pleased and proud to be here, with you and with all Mexican citizens, and to continue to set an example to the world. It is a pleasure to share this moment; I feel very, very privileged”.

MEXICO IS THE LATIN AMERICAN COUNTRY WITH THE  MOST WORLD HERITAGE SITES, FOUR OF THEM INSCRIBED ON THE LIST DURING THIS ADMINISTRATION: RAFAEL PACCHIANO

Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), said that, “We currently have 177 areas in which Mexico, seven of which have been recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, the latest  one being Revillagigedo”. This latest inscription makes us the Latin American country with the most Natural Heritage sites. “Four of them,” he added, have been inscribed during President Peña Nieto’s administration. ”I think this is a clear sign of your government’s commitment to caring for the environment,” he said.

He said that, “Having a mega-diverse country is a great responsibility, not only for these generations but also for future ones and not only for the generations of Mexico, but for those of the whole world”.

He said that, “The Revillagigedo Islands are a clear example of why Mexico is one of the four countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world. Here we can see both land and seascapes, which are full of wildlife that we share with other countries because they are migratory species, together with a large number of species that only live in this part of the world”.

Pacchiano Alamán said that the Navy has established a wide-ranging partnership,  “So that we can ensure that our marine areas can finally be protected for the first time”.

He explained further that at the beginning of the Administration, of the 177 protected natural areas, only 67 had a SEMARNAT management plan. We have since published over 40 plans, which, incidentally, is another record figure. Plans for 107 protected areas have already been published. Here we reaffirm the commitment to publicizing the remaining ones during the rest of his administration, which will also be a very important action, he concluded.