CONABIO, 25 years of evolution

The globally privileged place of Mexico for its magnificent biodiversity is the result of millions of processes occurring in the planet through thousands of millions of years. This enormous wealth gave rise to the creation of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad, CONABIO) 25 years ago. Since then, CONABIO is characterized by its great enthusiasm for learning, continuity in its actions, rigor in documenting and passion in sharing; key characteristics for keep evolving successfully. Thanks to the collaboration of all the other sectors in the country, CONABIO has exemplarily fulfilled its mission: promote, coordinate, support and carry out activities aimed at increasing the knowledge on Mexico’s biological diversity, its conservation and its sustainable use for the benefit of society.

On November 22, 2017, at the Jaime Torres Bodet Auditorium of the National Museum of Anthropology and History, the governmental agency held a commemorative event to celebrate its 25 years of life.

“The collaboration of society as a whole has been crucial for the development of the institution. Here it goes a sincere thanks to each and every one of those who contributed with one or more grains of sand,” said Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez, National Coordinator of CONABIO.

By presidential agreement the CONABIO was created in March 1992, prior to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, thanks to its great responsibility to the planet on increasing the knowledge and sustainably managing the natural capital of Mexico —recognized worldwide as a mega-diverse country, the vision of a handful of people has influenced thousands of scientists and millions of citizens.

During the celebration of its 25th anniversary, CONABIO recognized some people and institutions that have supported its mission to improve the understanding, conservation and sustainable use of the nature of Mexico. In the category of business people committed to environmental conservation, COANBIO grated this recognition to Carlos Slim Foundation and Carlos Slim Helu, for creating a major fund to support conservation projects and sustainable management in terrestrial and marine ecosystems in both tropical areas and the Gulf of California, its support for the creation of the Naturalista Platform and funding tutors and training of indigenous personnel in rural areas of Oaxaca and Chiapas, which have been of great value.

The event was attended by Minister Rafael Pacchiano Alemán, Head of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) ; the Dr. José Sarukhán Kermez , National Coordinator of CONABIO; Julia Carabias, former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources and Fishery (successor of SEMARNAT); the Dr. Jorge Soberón, former Executive Secretary of CONABIO; the Dr. Carlos Galindo Leal, General Director of Science Communication at CONABIO; and Ricardo Mújica Rosales, Executive Director of Carlos Slim Foundation.

The exemplary place now occupied by CONABIO globally is the result of millions of actions taken by its hundreds of collaborators, with the enthusiasm of thousands of people who intend to sensitize the nearly 130 million citizens who live in our territory on the value of the biological richness of Mexico, not only for the country but for the entire planet. It has come a long way, and another very important to go.