Mexican govt pledges reforestation to restore water balance

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Mexican government has pledged to reforest 1Mha of land across the country during the next five years, according to a release from the presidency.

The national reforestation program has five goals, including strengthening of watershed schemes and guaranteeing the supply of water in the reforested areas, said president Enrique Peña Nieto during presentation of the program.

The government plans to plant some 180mn trees this year and hopes to ensure the survival of between 60% and 70% of all the trees that it plants over the next five years.

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Peña Nieto highlighted the importance of forests for Mexico's water resources, describing them as "big water factories," while Jorge Rescala, director of the national forestry commission, Conafor, outlined other environmental benefits such as water harvesting and regulation of the water cycle and air quality.

Between 2005 and 2010, Mexico lost 150,000ha of forests due to fires, logging and urbanization, but the country still has the 12th largest forested areas in the world.