Thursday, April 16, 2015

An Open Letter to RAMSAR

Our world’s shorelines and water ways are indeed in trouble. Workshops and new initiatives are fantastic.  But how much time do we really have?  Here in the Riviera Maya coastline of Mexico, the wetlands resemble a crash victim. RAMSAR is not making enough of a difference.  Something must change.  If this crash victim receives immediate care, the victim may survive.
We must have decided as members of RAMSAR that the wetlands deserve our immediate care for many reasons, and this takes efforts, not just words.
What to do first? “We apply emergency first aid: Airway, Breathing and Circulation.”  These same ABC's relating to ecology; putting a stop to ALL deforestation, mangrove filling, disheveled sewage, habitat destruction, siltation from construction, garbage dumping, chemical runoffs, and poor building ethics.
To apply first aid, work must be done on both the ground level and the diplomatic level, and it’s a big job, more than only a desk job!!! Destruction continues here daily. RAMSAR diplomats are not paying attention to the facts of the list above, not much.  I think that my small grassroots NGO, SAVE, is doing more and making differences than the well funded diplomatic group of RAMSAR.  Although it is risky to speak out as a private citizen amongst power giants that run this coastline, it has its rewards, rewards that can be seen on the ground. If RAMSAR Mexico could take a more active position to help we could together make a change, but in the past as I have had dialogs with this group, there has been no action, and no change. 
CPR wetlands:  In the words of a friend “First we need first aid. Once first aid is applied, then we have to treat the crash victim. Sometimes we might need to heal broken bones.  We can choose to let the broken bone stay untreated, then it will take a very long time for it to heal properly or we might speed up the process by taking active measures, such as placing a metal rod and a cast.”
If we think about it in this way, the water of this world is our blood, the mangroves of this world are our lungs, the brains…us as controllers, and the goal is to live, flourish, grow.
Sometimes the bruises will heal on their own. That's when conservation alone helps. “If left untreated, the patient will die, regardless of our ABC's and our bone healing.”
Then there is more, systemic failure is not only caused from our neglect, but also with throwing in global warming to this mixture, that if left untreated, will doom wetlands by 2050, that's just 35 years from now. And for us whose sole livelihoods depends on tourism from this coastline which is truly a fantastic place, human destruction and human abuse…overuse of our resources is just not acceptable.
Once we have our priorities straight, it's time to take action. Action Please!!  In our wetlands if left untreated, this will be then the objective of large scale restoration.
Some of us know about dealing with systemic failure. We have to do our best, and we have to do it quick. And we need to unite our efforts. We have an existing organization RAMSAR to coordinate our efforts along with local NGO’s.
Regardless how we decide about doing our best, we don't want to let the patient die in agony during
our watch. 
Nancy DeRosa
Activist for SAVE
Society of Akumal's Vital Ecology
Salvamento Akumal de Vida Ecologica
www.saverivieramaya.org
www.facebook.com/save.akumal
   

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