President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP13).

“COP13 has the opportunity to change the traditional approach to the way we maintain and preserve our biological wealth. The point is to conceive of biodiversity as a development strategy for the present and future well-being of mankind.

The real challenge is to ensure that natural capital contributes to meeting people’s needs and improving their lives”: EPN

Cancun Declaration

The directors of the agencies of the various countries at COP13 adopted the Cancun Declaration on Integration for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Well-being.

This Agreement will enable the productive sectors of each country to incorporate biodiversity and protection criteria into decision-making.

The president explained that the sectors covered by the Cancún Declaration are very important and illustrated the case of Mexico with three examples:

1. “In 2015, Mexico received 32 million tourists, which made us the ninth most visited country in the world. People who visit us come to enjoy the country’s natural beauty, beautiful beaches and reefs, and extraordinary landscapes. The challenge is to ensure that this natural wealth is preserved and remains attractive for the tourists we will receive in the future”.

2. “The second example is the agrifood industry, which is conquering international markets as never before. In 2015, for the first time in the last 20 years, the value of our agricultural and fisheries exports exceeded our imports. Successful examples of the integration of biodiversity into agro-food chains include sustainable coffee production, fishing for yellow fin tuna and lobster, and the conservation of genetic material from corn, since Mexico is a center of origin.

The challenge is to consolidate more agricultural activities that combine economic development, social inclusion and environmental protection. These are the three core elements that must be provided by any economic activity in the future: caring for our environment, achieving social inclusion, but also, above all, making development and economic growth possible in conjunction with environmental protection.

3. "Finally, I will illustrate the conservation challenge in the fisheries sector through the battle we are taking to preserve the vaquita porpoise, which is rather like a small dolphin, of which it is estimated that there are fewer than 100 in their natural habitat. We are working with fishermen in the Upper Gulf of California to ensure that the vaquita porpoise is no longer an incidental victim of fishing for other species”.

"Being a diverse country entails the enormous responsibility of caring for our environment, which is not only national but also world heritage”. EPN