· Nearly 60 percent of the target has been met, through the reforestation of nearly 600,000 hectares, he said.

· One million hectares is practically the combined area of Mexico, Tlaxcala and Morelos. That's what we're trying to reforest during this administration, he said.

· The survival rate of the trees we are planting is higher than any other in the past. Today, 6 out of every 10 trees we plant survive; before this administration, less than 3 out of every 10 trees planted survived, he explained.

· A country is not only built in six years, but an administration’s contribution must obviously  be significant and stand out in order to create the conditions that will provide more opportunities for our people, he said.

· The president commemorated Tree Day and launched the National Reforestation Campaign 2016.

As he commemorated Tree Day and launched the National Reforestation Campaign 2016, President Enrique Peña Nieto said today that the government has set itself the goal of reforesting one million hectares during the six years of this administration.

He noted that nearly 60 percent of the goal has been achieved, through the reforestation of nearly 600,000 hectares during this Administration.

To give some idea of the scope of the goal, the president said that, “One million hectares is practically the combined area of Mexico, Tlaxcala and Morelos. That’s what we’re trying to reforest during this administration,” he said.

After declaring that, “This is an unprecedented task,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said that a country is not only built in six years, but  that an administration’s contribution must obviously  be significant and stand out in order to create the conditions that will provide more opportunities for our people.”

The president announced that the survival rate of the trees we are planting is higher than any other in the past. Today, 6 out of every 10 trees we plant survive, whereas before this administration, less than 3 out of every 10 trees planted survived.”

He said that three and a half years into this administration, “We believe that by 2018, 7 to 8 out of every 10 trees planted will have a chance to survive”.

The president said that in order to care for the Megalopolis, “By 2018, we intend to have planted 18 million trees in the north and east of the Valley of Mexico, the great megalopolis mainly comprising Mexico City and Mexico City”. He noted that this would be equivalent to, “Almost 30 times the size of Chapultepec Park.”

“That is the legacy we will be providing for this great megalopolis that is home to more than 20 million people in our country. Nearly one out of every five Mexicans lives in this great megalopolis at the center of the country,” he said.

President Peña Nieto said that this effort, “Is not just a task for the government. It is a task in which many communities, common land owners, and communities of farmers and small and medium businesses participate, which are determined to work for reforestation and care for our forest areas.”

He thanked the armed forces and the over 18,000 brigade members in the country for their work in fighting forest fires and preserving forests.

He also thanked the Mexican brigade members who supported the efforts to fight the recent forest fires in Alberta, Canada, “For this effort and dedication, and for honoring Mexico’s name in the relief efforts and support we have provided for other countries”.

At the event, the president presented the National Forestry Merit Award in nine categories. He also presented awards to forest fire fighters and fire management technicians, and gave the National Forestry Program funds for reforestation activities.

At the end of the event, President Peña Nieto planted a tree to begin the National Reforestation Campaign 2016.

WHEN FORESTS ARE SUSTAINABLY MANAGED AND EXPLOITED, THEY ARE AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: RAFAEL PACCHIANO

Rafael Pacchiano Alamán, Environment and Natural Resource Secretary, recalled that the international scientific consensus has been that in order to prevent catastrophic damage, such as the loss of the entire island territory, it is essential to prevent global temperatures from rising more than one and a half degrees.  “We are close to this threshold, which is why we must act immediately,” he declared.

“For these reasons, combating climate change has become one of the priorities of the environmental policy of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration and we have already begun to act,” he added. “When forests are sustainably managed and exploited, they are an excellent opportunity for growth and economic development,” he explained.

He noted that on the president's instructions, several measures have been implemented for the care of forests that have already been successful, such as combating illegal logging, and thanks to the coordinated work of the PROFEPA with the National Defense and Navy Secretariats, the Federal Police have managed to reduce the area affected by 76 percent. He explained that in 1990, 380,000 hectares of forests were lost every year, which had fallen to less than 92,000 hectares by 2015.

As for forest fires, he highlighted the increase in the number of brigade members from 2,600 in the previous administration to over 18,000. A propos of this, he thanked the Armed Forces for the invaluable support provided in the form of personnel and equipment: “There can be no doubt, Mr. President, that the environment’s best ally in our country are our armed forces,” he said.

CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT SHOULD BE A TASK COORDINATED BY THE THREE ORDERS OF GOVERNMENT, THE PRODUCTIVE SECTOR AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC: GONZÁLEZ ZARUR

Governor of the State of Tlaxcala Mariano González Zarur said that, “Boosting economic and social development is as important as environmental care, which should be a coordinated effort by the three orders of government, the productive sector and the general public.”

He said that, “This is why the commitment made by Mexico and other countries in the recent Paris Agreement of The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to promote policies and incentives to prevent deforestation and promote the conservation of forests to mitigate the effects of global warming is so important”.

“Political will, together with creativity and innovation, are undoubtedly essential factors for achieving that goal,” he said.

He indicated that his government has prioritized the protection, conservation and promotion of more than 54,000 hectares of forest in the state, by sowing 4.7 million plants of different species with a survival rate of over 80 percent.

This year, he said, the reforestation goal for Tlaxcala is 2,500 hectares with two million large forest species trees, of excellent quality and size, creating temporary employment for 31,746 people in 52 communities. “Moreover, through the Temporary Employment Program, 8,300 women have worked to reforest and maintain Malinche National Park, the pride of Tlaxcala,” he said.