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Mexico has an enormous range of natural environments.  It bridges temperate and tropical regions and lies in the latitudes that hold most of the worlds deserts.  In addition, its rugged, mountainous topography creates countless microclimates which support one of the most diverse arrays of plant and animal species of any country on the planet.  Yet many of Mexico s species are endangered.  The human impact is enormous and the list of environmental problems is long.

The CIA World Fact Book considers the following to be the biggest threats to Mexico s environment:

  • scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities;

  • rural to urban migration;

  • natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast;

  • raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas;

  • deforestation;

  • widespread erosion;

  • desertification;

  • deteriorating agricultural lands;

  • serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border;

  • land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion.

A number of groups have stepped forward over the last 30 years to help.  The Movimiento Ecologico Mexicano unites some 60 groups with a total of 10,000 members.  The Grupo de Cien is a group of 100 intellectuals who keep ecological issues in the public mind through their high profile and media access and since the 1980s the federal government has recognized the need for economic development to be environmentally sustainable.



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