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WHO report: Mérida still needs more trees

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A variety of trees is handed out to citizens every Sunday at the Bici-Ruta. Photo: Courtesy
A variety of trees is handed out to citizens every Sunday at the Bici-Ruta. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — A thousand trees were given out for “adoption” at yesterday’s Bici-Ruta under a municipal initiative to plant 60,000 saplings this year.

The plan sounds ambitious, but it will still leave the city short of standards set by the World Health Organization.

The Unit Development Sustainable sets up tables at the Plaza Grande, Santa Lucia Park, the Remate at the Paseo de Montejo and the Monumento a la Patria every Sunday morning at 8. They are there in time for the weekly bike route established by the city, which closes the boulevard to motor vehicles in favor of bicycles. 

Mango, huaya, guava, sapodilla, soursop, mamey, currant, nance, zaramullo, sour orange, tangerine, lime and cajerina are among the species handed out.

The director of the Sustainable Development Unit, Sayda Rodríguez Gómez, said that since the submission of the Plan of Green Infrastructure in March, to date about 35,000 trees — more than half of the stated goal — have already been planted.

The tree-to-resident ratio is worth watching, especially in a tropical city with so much paved surface. The World Health Organization recommends that cities provide nine square meters of trees per person. In Mérida, there are six square meters of trees per person, which is actually above the average for Latin America, at 3.5 square meters. 

The current plan would raise Mérida’s tree-to-person ratio to seven square meters.

City workers also on Sunday distributed informational flyers on making chemical-free “ecological traps for mosquitoes” to prevent the spread of dengue, chikungunya and zika. They are made with recycled plastic bottles, water, sugar and yeast.

Source: Press release

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