From: Associated Press
Published August 9, 2005 12:00 AM

Mexico Plans to Protect New U.N. World Heritage Site on Sea of Cortes

MEXICO CITY — Mexican officials on Monday said they hoped to attract international experts to protect a sprawling new World Heritage Site on the Sea of Cortes in northwest Mexico.


Recognized in July as a nature heritage site by the U.N. Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, the spread of islands and ecologically rich waters spans hundreds of kilometers (miles), from the Colorado River delta to the offshore prison colony at Islas Marias.


"We're talking about 1.8 million hectares, hundreds of island and the communities that are there," said Ernesto Enkerlin, president of the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, describing the patchwork of 244 islands and biologically diverse waters that compose the site.


The area was added to UNESCO's World Heritage Sites at a July 14 meeting in Durban, South Africa. The new additions brought the total number of protected sites to 795.


"The recognition of this site represents a great source of pride for our country and also an enormous responsibility," said Francisco Lopez, director of patrimony for Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.


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Lopez said he hopes the U.N. designation will help Mexico attract international experts to train Mexican officials and help monitor and manage the site, offshore the coast of the Mexican states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa and Nayarit.


Source: Associated Press


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