viernes, mayo 4

Letter from the Executive Director


LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR—EARTH DAY

The 1960s saw the rising of social movements that demanded not only changes in racial and gender relationships, but also changes in our relationship with nature. Seminal works such as "Silent Spring" of Rachel Carlson and environmental disasters such as the 1969 Santa Barbara massive oil spill brought attention to the need for action to protect natural resources. On April 22nd of 1970, with the remarkable support of the US Congress thanks to the efforts of Wisconsin U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, millions of Americans took to the streets and parks to protest for a cleaner and healthier environment during the first "Earth Day." As a result of this bottom-up/top-down movement, the Environmental Protection Agency was created in the United States, DDT use was banned and environmental legislations such as the Endangered Species Protection Act had a strong bipartisan support.

Fourty two years later, the environmental movement has become global and there is tangible progress in environmental awareness. Many people around the globe are aware of environmental issues such as ozone layer depletion, species extinctions and climate change. And although this awareness has translated in some conservation actions, the environmental degradation has continued at the same or faster pace than before. Oil spills continue happening (the2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is the largest accidental marine spill in the history of the petroleum industry); species extinctions rate has accelerated dramatically in the last twenty years (the International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN, estimates that 20% of the total species in the planet are threatened or endangered); and more than 50% of the ecosystems are heavily degraded.

Unfortunately, Mexico does not escape to this negative trend. Our natural capital continues disappearing in the Baja California Peninsula due to mining, energy projects and real estate development. The work that Terra Peninsular carries out is necessary more than ever. Our organization is working on establishing a million-acre wildlife corridor that extends from San Quintin Bay (about 180 miles south from San Diego, California) to Sierra de Juarez (a mountain range that connects with the mountain ranges in eastern San Diego County). Working with private and ejido landowners, government agencies and indigenous communities, we hope to create one of the largest natural corridors in North America. Thank you for supporting these efforts. Your support will help us to protect Baja California amazing landscapes, ecosystems and wildlife for future generations.

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