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Norway spearheads new environmental initiative in Yucatán

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Norway’s environmental agency says that Yucatán has great potential when it comes to helping the world fight climate change. Photo: Courtesy

Norway announced that it will work with partners in Yucatán on several environmental initiatives. 

The project will center on several rural municipalities including Tekax, Yaxcabá, and Peto.

The goal of the initiative is to promote traditional and environmentally friendly practices in agriculture and beekeeping. 

“In the race to modernize we have lost so much. This project is about finding ways to bring the new generation in on the knowledge of our ancestors, make a living and protect the planet at the same time,” said activist Rafael López Macías. 

This is the second project of this type run by the Norwegian government in Mexico, the first having been kicked off in the state of Jalisco. 

“We are in this for the long haul. Making progress takes time and the program in question is likely to stretch on for several years,” said a joint press statement prepared by the Norwegian government.

Earlier: Scientists explore reefs in Yucatán to document damage from tourists

The project is likely to propose reforms to Yucatán’s millennia-old tradition of slash-and-burn agriculture. The practice consumes hundreds of hectares of jungle every year and often rages out of control, bringing smoke and destruction to nearby fields and communities.

On the other hand, there is growing evidence that the otherwise problematic practice is surprisingly good for the health of bee populations. 

Norway has a long track record of supporting environmental initiatives across the globe and is a major player at the international level in the fight against climate change.

But critics of Norway are quick to point out that this apparent benevolence is a mask intended to draw international attention away from the fact that the Scandinavian country is one of the largest oil producers in the world.

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