National: Biodiversity Law – Protection for Megaprojects (Greenpeace)

GreenpeacePhoto @ Greenpeace México

Civil society groups and experts have expressed their grave concerns about the Biodiversity Law, which, according to Sin Embargo MX, was approved “in a rush” by 88 senators on December 15th, “in the middle of another controversial discussion: the Law of Internal Security.” The unexpected and surprising approval of the said Law has caused controversies in several points highlighted in multiple public denunciations by civil society.

In the first place, Greenpeace Mexico strongly criticized the fact that “this approval was carried out in a surprising manner and without the broad consultation demanded by society, as mandated by human rights standards.” In addition, the representative in Mexico of the Center for Biodiversity, Alejandro Olivera Bonilla, highlighted that the main promoter of the Biodiversity Law, Senator Ninfa Salinas Sada, of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), is responsible for the promotion of extractive projects throughout the country. He stated in an interview with Sin Embargo MX that, “we detected that there is a conflict of interest, given that Senator Ninfa Salinas Sada has an interest in open-pit metallurgical mining projects in Mexico. Based on the contents of the initiative, such as the weakening of protected natural areas (PNA) to allow this type of activities that are the most destructive, this conflict of interest is evident.”

Greenpeace Mexico identified four key points as to why this new law would not represent protection, but rather a threat to biodiversity in Mexico:

  • “The limited protection of genetic resources and their commercialization, which could exacerbate conflicts associated with the access and distribution of benefits to local communities or indigenous peoples;
  • The lack of clarity in terms of consultation and citizen participation, because the spaces proposed in this sense are poorly designed and do not fulfill the function of being real mechanisms of deliberation;
  • That in its transitory articles there are exceptions that open the possibility for the commercial use of marine mammals;
  • In addition, the prohibition of high-impact activities, such as mining and power generation is not established in protected natural areas, so that the new law, instead of protecting biodiversity, protects the interests of the proponents [of megaprojects].”

For more information in Spanish:

Ley de Biodiversidad es un regalo para la minería y el fracking, y un atentado a la ecología, alertan (SinEmbargo MX, 5 de febrero de 2018)

Biodiversidad o minería, ¿dilema? (El Universal, 3 de febrero de 2018)

Madrugan Grupo Salinas y Partido Verde con Ley de Biodiversidad (Greenpeace México, 19 de diciembre de 2017)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas: Acacoyagua prohibe la actividad minera en su territorio (22 de enero de 2018)

Nacional: Más aprobaciones controvertidas de Leyes Mexicanas (20 de dieciembre de 2017)

Nacional: Senado aprueba Ley de seguridad interior (16 de diciembre de 2017)


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