Grupo de los Cien
Founded in 1985, Grupo de los Cien is Mexico's most influential environmental advocacy group composed of more than 100 prominent personalities in the arts, culture and science.
Under the leadership of its president the writer Homero Aridjis, the group's efforts have lead to a ban on the capture and commercialisation of sea turtles in Mexico, legislation reducing the amount of lead in gasoline, daily notification in the press of air quality in Mexico city and official designation as sanctuaries of the nesting areas of the Monarch butterfly.
The group was able to thwart a project to build dams along the Usumacinta River in the Mayan area of the Mexico/Guatemala border and also led a successful campaign to stop the building of an airport extension in the Texcoco nature reserve.
In September 1991 the Group held a meeting of writers, scientists, representatives of indigenous peoples and environmentalists, The Morelia Symposium: Approaching the Year 2000, which led to the creation of an international network for defense of the environment: the Grupo de Los Cien Internacional. The Morelia Declaration was presented at the Earth Summit as a global statement by 896 intellectuals and environmentalists.
Under his leadership, Servicio, Desarrollo y Paz has trained more than 1,000 rural workers in soil and water conservation in five Central American countries since 1983. They have in turn spread their new skills in their communities, promoting sustainable development and agricultural productivity.
Dr. Enrique Beltran
For 50 years Dr. Beltran has been a celebrated figure in Mexico in bringing environmental problems to the forefront of public awareness.
His projects have had a great impact in the research on the environment and marine biology. He has formed the best public library in Mexico on ecology and natural resources.
Dr. Beltran was vice-president of IUCN from 1954-58 and is an honorary member of WWF.
Jose Jaime Flota
Mr. Flota has dedicated two decades of his journalistic career to the protection of the environment. His television series on the monarch butterfly and the sanctuaries of this endangered species played a key role in the creation of legislation to preserve it.
His reportage on contamination helped create ecological awareness among the inhabitants of Mexico City and gathered support for measures to clean its heavily- polluted air.
Since 1985, he has produced "60 minutes", a popular TV documentary including series on climate change and global warming. His report on Mexico's forests led to government measures to protect them.
Gertrude Duby Blom
In 1943 Ms. Blom joined the first Mexican government-sponsored expedition through the highland Mayan villages of the Chiapas rainforest on muleback. There she met the Lacandons, a group of Mayans who had been isolated from civilisation for almost three centuries. This peace was shattered when private and commercial greed for the mahogany in the Lacandon rainforest stimulated massive road building and tree cutting into their area. Blom supported the Lacandons by writing, photographing, and publishing articles about the Lacandon culture. Today, at 89 years of age she continues to seek solutions to the ecological problems devastating local and worldwide indigenous populations.
Eduardo Del Rio (Rius)
Rius and Ms. Ruge co-authored a children's booklet, "Cuademos de vida y ecologia, todos contra la contaminacion". The booklet has been circulated throughout the Mexican public school system to over 250,000 Mexican children by the government. With Ruis's cartoon figures and Ruge's text, the booklet explains the dynamics of pollution in Mexico and comments on the rationalisation and habits of the polluters. The booklet is extremely witty and explains pollution in terms that are accessible and compelling to readers of all ages.
Over the past 25 years, Rius has written books and comics on ecological themes.
Ms. Ruge and Rius co-authored a children's booklet, "Cuademos de vida y ecologia, todos contra la contarninacion". The booklet has been circulated by the government throughout the Mexican public school system to over 250,000 children.
With Ruis's cartoon figures and Ruge's text, the booklet explains the dynamics of pollution in Mexico and comments on the rationalisation and habits of the polluters. The booklet is extremely witty and explains pollution in terms that are accessible and compelling to readers of all ages.
Miguel Alvarez del Toro
Professor Alvarez del Toro, Director of the Tuxtla Gutierrez Zoo, is a researcher dealing with the study of Mexico's wildlife and nature. He is also an Honorary member of the American Ornithological Society and is regarded as the grandfather of ecologists and environment preservers in Mexico. Professor Alvarez's research and work to preserve the Chiapas regions' heritage has been published and recognised worldwide.
Dr. Jesus Estudillo Lopez
Dr. Jesus Estudillo, a Mexican veterinarian and animal reproduction and nursery specialist, is also known as a bird breeder. In Latin America, he is known as the "Father of Cracidae".
In the 1950's, he established a breeding programme and infrastructure in Mexico City called "La Siberia" for endangered species. When Dr. Estudillo started the project, the importance of ex-situ conservation for possible reintroduction to their natural habitat was at an initial stage.
His research involves technological development of vaccines for birds (Cracidae, Cranes and Parrots); research on the nutritional requirements of families and species; reproduction, breeding and enhancement of genetic variation with ex-situ techniques for species of Cracidae; research on habitat requirements for Cracidae, Cranes and Parrots; the establishment of artificial habitats for ex-situ management; research on the natural selection process of the above species; research on plagues and diseases that affect these species; research on the reproductive behaviour of birds as well as on the competition within and between species.
Dr. Estudillo built a centre for endangered bird species where 1,200 birds are represented, encompassing 100% of all Cracidae in the world, 0% of the Cranes and 70% of the existing endangered Parrots. Dr. Estudillo has for 40 years carried out all his research and programmes without commercial or political interest and at great personal and financial costs.
Luis Bustamante has dedicated the last 15 years of his life to the protection of nature and the environment in Mexico.
In 1990, he formed the Mexican Association of NGOs for the Defense of the Pacific Coast, and he has brought together Mexico's most important NGOs to form the Committee for the Defense of The Chimalapas, the last tropical rainforest whose existence was threatened by the construction of a main highway.
Thanks to his efforts and pressure put forth by his committee, in 1992, he managed to convince the government to change the route of the highway.
At present, the organization is working with the indigenous people and inhabitants of this last rainforest to begin sustainable development projects, which would enable them to preserve their habitat.