The mayor, assisted by school children, plants the 60,000th tree in a citywide reforestation program. Photo: Ayuntamiento

Mérida, Yucatán — For the 60,000th tree planted under the Municipal Green Infrastructure Plan, Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal grabbed a shovel.

That’s because the tree represented the program’s target after 14 months. At a ceremonial planting, the mayor announced the goal would be expanded, with another 20,000 trees going into the ground until his administration ends next year.

If 80,000 total trees can be planted, and survive, the city would be able to count 7 square meters of green area per person. In doing so, Mérida would move closer to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters of green space per inhabitant. Urban Latin America’s average is just 3.6 square meters per person.

The ceremony, at the Plaza Grande across from the Municipal Palace, was accompanied by Mario Gamboa Patrón, president of Kanan Kab, A.C; Nabile Ramírez, regional coordinator of the Grupo Modelo Foundation, the director of the Sustainable Development Unit, Sayda Rodríguez Gómez and fourth-grade students from the Benito Juárez García primary school.

Mayor Mauricio Vila planted an ornamental flowering tree, the Maculís amarillo or “golden trumpet tree,” which was marked with a commemorative plaque.

The Green Infrastructure Plan also includes an inventory of greenhouse gases. In Merida, 69 percent of greenhouse gases are attributed to motor vehicles and 19 percent emanate from buildings using energy for appliances such as air conditioners.

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