VII.34 Whale Sanctuary of El Viscaino (Mexico)
The Bureau at its twentieth extraordinary session recalled discussions held at its nineteenth session, concerning a report on a project for industrial salt production at the site and its potential threats to the whale population. At its twentieth extraordinary session, the Bureau was informed by the Delegate of Mexico that the National Institute of Ecology (INE) created a Committee comprising national and foreign experts, which held a first meeting in March 1996, participated in a public conference attended by nearly 300 persons and presented 42 documents to define aspects to be included in the new environmental impact study. The Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fish indicated, through the INE, that the proposal could only be authorized on the understanding that it respects the legislation and the ecological standards in force.
IUCN informed the Bureau about a recent report which indicated that private development was proceeding without fully following the Mexican Environmental Impact Assessment standards. The Bureau invited the State Party to inform the Committee by 15 April 1997 about the industrial salt production proj ect and the status of the environmental impact study and to ensure the integrity of the site.
At the twentieth session of the Committee the Delegate of Mexico and the Director of the Whale Sanctuary of El Viscaino provided addi tional information that: (a) industrial salt production has not been authorized, and (b) a Scientific Committee to review the si tuation has been established by the Ministry of Environment. The Committee took note of this report.