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Flor del Bosque, the park recently declared a protected area by the state. Flor del Bosque park was declared a protected area by the state this week. Puebla state Environment Ministry

1,500-hectare park in Puebla designated natural protected area

The declaration shields the area from real estate development

The Flor del Bosque park, located southeast of Puebla city, has been declared a natural protected area, the state government announced on Thursday.

This will mean that the park’s 1,501 hectares will be off-limits for real estate development and other kinds of new settlement, and that the communities already living on the land will be obliged to participate in its sustainable use and protection.

Despite intense protest from environmentalists, in 2018 local government officials in conjunction with the state Congress transferred 42 hectares of the property to real estate developer Carlos Enrique Haghenbeck Cámara. In 2020, Haghenbeck’s claims to rights of the property were rejected by the new legislature because his company failed to pay the proper amount of taxes for its transfer.

Now that the area has been declared protected, the state’s Environment Ministry will have a year to develop a management plan for Flor del Bosque that will take into account the need to preserve and protect the area’s endemic flora and fauna.

In the official declaration it was noted that this piece of land regulates the regional climate, guarantees a source of water in the region, provides an ecosystem for all kinds of plant and animal species and provides areas of conservation, recreation and research. The area also serves as a source of oxygen, helps to recharge the local water table, and sequesters carbon. This swath of the land is also one of the few green areas left in Puebla’s metropolitan area and serves as a natural shelter for many kinds of migratory birds.

The new status will mean that certain activities are now off-limits in this forested area, including modifying the natural parameters of the area and its resources, which means any human contact that degrades the environment or harms species that live there. There will be prohibitions against physical pollution as well as noise pollution in the new reserve.

With reports from e-consulta

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