As part of the #EUBeachCleanup global campaign, the Delegation of the European Union to Mexico organised, with the support of the Dutch Embassy and in cooperation with the government of Mexico City, town hall of Xochimilco and the United Nations Environment Programme Office (UNEP) in Mexico (link is external), a clean-up activity on the Xochimilco Lake in Mexico City.
The Ambassador of the European Union and the staff of the EU Delegation were also joined by the ambassadors of Belgium and Italy, as well as representatives of the embassies of Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.
In compliance with all sanitary measures, more than 50 participants joined forces in collecting waste, particularly plastic waste, in a so-called chinampa (T/N: a man-made island for growing crops) on the Xochimilco lake. The activity, which resulted in filling up 92 big trash bags with almost one tonne of plastics and other waste, was organised with the logistical assistance of Ríos Limpios, a local NGO. In addition to helping to combat pollution in this emblematic area and enjoy the wonderful landscapes, participants had the opportunity to learn about the axolotl, an endangered endemic salamander.
During the event, the Ambassador of the European Union to Mexico, Mr. Gautier Mignot, said: “We are very happy to have been able to organise a face-to-face activity this year as part of the European Union campaign #EUBeachCleanup and to contribute, together with our Mexican, European, American and international colleagues, to the preservation of the Xochimilco lake and its great biodiversity, in particular the axolotl. This activity undoubtedly represents a ‘drop in the ocean’, but encourages us to continue to promote the protection of rivers, lakes, seas and oceans, thus generating a wave of change.”
Xochimilco Lake is one of the five lakes in the basin of Mexico Valley. In addition to being a historical, cultural and tourist benchmark in Mexico, it is also home to the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum), a species threatened by extinction. This type of salamander is capable of regenerating amputated limbs and damaged organs and tissues. Despite its extraordinary capacities, the axolotl is at high risk due to pollution of its surroundings. Several actions are being taken to protect it, but the most effective measure would be to keep the water in its habitat clean.
Everyone can join the #EUBeachCleanup from their communities and be part of the change. Let's act together to protect lakes, rivers, oceans and their biodiversity.
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