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Investigaciones geográficas

versión On-line ISSN 2448-7279versión impresa ISSN 0188-4611


BONI, Andrew; FARFAN, Michelle  y  PEREZ-VEGA, Azucena. The Role of Zoning in the Mining Activity within Federal Natural Protected Areas of Mexico. Invest. Geog [online]. 2019, n.99, e59695.  Epub 25-Sep-2019. ISSN 2448-7279.

The confluence of mining, an activity that leads to the permanent transformation of the landscape, and conservation, which seeks to preserve or restore natural or sustainable production systems, poses a challenge for environmental and land-use policy. In Mexico, the current environmental legal and regulatory framework allows mining to take place within specific categories of natural protected areas. However, no information is available on the location and type of mining currently in operation throughout the federal system of natural protected areas in Mexico.

This paper is the first study addressing the regulatory framework, spatial distribution, nature, and scale of operation of mining activities in federal natural protected areas in Mexico (FNPA). We surveyed those FNPAs where mining is allowed and characterized mining activities in each in terms of mineral type, scale of operation, and status. Also, we explored the modalities whereby zoning schemes allow mining in these FNPAs, as well as the potential implications for conservation.

We found that 30 out of 177 FNPAs explicitly allow mining; in all but seven, some sort of mining activity was identified; these activities differed in type, scale, and status. To note, large-scale open-pit metallic mines operate in two FNPAs, while large-scale non-metallic mines are located in four. Exploration projects and smaller mining operations involving both metallic and non-metallic minerals are currently underway in other FNPAs. This paper discusses the implications of these findings for land-use and conservation policy.

Palabras llave : mining; conservation; natural protected areas; Mexico.

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