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A slow start for Yucatán’s 10-year plan for cleaner air

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Seen in February, the Core Committee of ProAire Yucatán includes Seduma’s Eduardo Adolfo Batllori Sampedro and Semarnat’s Ana Patricia Martínez Bolívar. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — A comprehensive clean-air program that was signed into effect in February has gone nowhere.

The director of the Sustainable Development Unit of the City of Mérida, Sayda Rodríguez Gómez, said that strategies to guide the Management Program to Improve Air Quality (ProAire) have not yet been developed, despite the fact that its committee was installed three months ago.

The ProAire program gives the state access to federal funding sources to pay for a 10-year effort aimed at reducing the release of particles into the atmosphere.

The city joined the program, contributing a year’s worth of air-quality information to the Secretariat of Urban Development and Environment (Seduma) and the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat).

But she admitted that no specific strategies have been developed to improve air quality in the city.

Mobilizing the Pro Aire program — which worked wonders in Mexico City — requires all three levels of government, as well as private-sector players, to cooperate.

In Mérida, 69 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the public transportation sector, which must commit to the effort.

“It is a challenge because it involves many processes and actors who have different interests. It is a matter of looking for alternatives that are not costly so that it can be viable for all sectors,” Rodríguez Gómez said.

At the same time, Rodríguez Gómez mentioned that the urgent issues to be addressed in terms of air quality will be defined by the state authorities, although he indicated that the priority is to generate working groups to develop action strategies.

She stressed that the processes to implement these measures take time, but efforts will be made to make them happen as quickly as possible. She added that the important thing is that the plan has a scientific basis.

The director could not confirm if Pro Aire strategies will be carried out before the current administration ends in September.

On the other hand, the city is installing sensors to monitor the air in the first frame of the Centro Histórico as part of the “Smart City” pilot project.

The “Smart City” program employs information and communication technologies to enhance the quality, performance and interactivity of urban services to reduce costs and save energy.

“Whether a city is looking to reduce energy usage, ease traffic and parking, or boost public transportation ridership and revenues, the program will help cities with solutions,” Cisco management explained in a press release.

Source: Desde el Balcón

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