As temperatures rise, state and city double tree-planting goal

More people, more cars and fewer trees add up to higher temperatures

Yucatan's capital lacks trees to provide relief from the heat. Photo: Sipse
Yucatan’s capital lacks trees to provide relief from the heat. Photo: Sipse

Merida’s forestry and other environmental contingencies will be ramped up and re-thought.

That’s the plan at the Secretariat of Sustainable Development (SDS) in light of the city’s sprawling growth and global climate change, reports Yucatan Novedades.

The city is operating under a “Merida 2040” plan approved by the previous administration. Already the capital was absorbing 200 percent population growth in the previous 25 years. A lack of trees contributed to increasingly rising surface temperatures.

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The accelerated growth that the city has had with the construction of new housing complexes and subdivisions, together with the impact of climate change, has caused the temperatures in Mérida to be the highest in recent years, so it will be necessary to improve the forestry actions and adapt the Urban Development Plan (PDU) to obtain a better harmonization with the environment, considered the Secretariat of Sustainable Development (SDS).

Sayda Rodríguez Gómez, head of the SDS, said that high temperatures are not only due to the fact that much of Merida amounts to a concrete slab. Hotter weather is part of a global trend, a reality for which “we should not sit idly by.”

After addressing the fifth edition of the “Environmental Forum Expo 2019,” he explained that Merida has suburbanized quickly in the north, south and east.

The state official stressed that the state government will join the city of Merida to combat the problem.

Doubling the city’s commitment to plant 100,000 trees during the current administration, Yucatan’s governor will provide 100,000 more in the next three years. In Merida, six square meters of tree cover exist per inhabitant. That three meters short of what the World Health Organization recommends.

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