Pelaez Goycochea Alejandro-FC pelaez at REDVAX1.DGSCA.UNAM.MX
Wed Nov 24 21:31:25 CST 1993

 We are including a translation of a document signed recently by
24 directors of institutions related to the study of biodiversity
in Mexico, where they acquire the compromise to establish the
Mexican Information Network on Biodiversity. The network will be
formed by a group of institutions that will share information for
the benefit of scientific research on biodiversity and will
provide precise taxonomic and geographic information for users
interested in the rational use of natural resources and
biological conservation.

Basically, the network will consist on the computerized
information of the specimen labels that the taxonomists in charge
of each node consider: 1) scientifically sound enough, 2) not
likely to endanger a species (for example, by providing
localities of a comercially attractive species), and 3) not being
activeley worked for research.

Despite its apparent lack of glamour, such label information is
1) available for thousands of species and millions of specimens,
2) essential for taxonomic, biogeographic and ecogeographic
research, 3) of foremost importance to environmental planning,
monitoring, etc., and 4) it may be used, when not downright
required,  in many cases stipulated by mexican and foreign
legislation (i.e., the Mexican Ley del Equilibrio Ecologico or
the American Endangered Species Act).

Taking into account that Mexico has more than 150 institutional
zoological collections and herbaria distributed over the country,
and  with some very large and important collections (i. e., the
herbaria of the Institute of Biology at the National University
and the Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas at IPN hold more
than one million plant specimens), there are significant
technical and organizational problems to be solved. The
importance of the Declaration of Oaxaca lies on the fact that the
heads of some of the most important Mexican institutions agreed
to face the problems squarely, as a collective effort that will
provide an important tool both to mexican taxonomy and to
conservation efforts.


November 14, 1993

In Oaxaca, capital city of the State with the largest biological
diversity of the Mexican Republic, the participants of the First
Meeting of Directors of Institutions related to the Study of
Biological Diversity of Mexico, convened by the National
Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (Comision
Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad -
CONABIO/Mexico), considering:

-That Mexico is one of the five countries with highest biological
diversity in the world;

-That biodiversity is the basis of the ecological processes that
sustain the life of humanity and that in our country it
represents a unique heritage inseparable from our culture;

-That  Mexico is host of a body of folk knowledge for the
utilization of plants and animals, with centenary roots, and with
an intrinsic cultural and economic value that should be rescued
and studied;

-That botanical and zoological studies performed by Mexican
researchers integrate an intellectual and cultural inheritance
that is evident nowadays in the scientific knowledge deposited in
institutions, museums, herbaria and botanical gardens;

-That there is an urgent need to have information, nationwide,
about those matters, permanently updated and authorized by

-That this information exists partially and is distributed in
many institutions that have to be communicated using modern
technologies in computing and telecommunications;

-That our country has acquired national and international
compromises regarding the conservation and rational utilization
of our biological wealth, such as the creation of the National
Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity and the
signing and ratification of the Biodiversity Convention of Rio;



To create a Mexican information network on biodiversity (Red
Mexicana de Informacion sobre Biodiversidad, REMIB), that will
connect existing botanical, zoological and other organism data
banks in the country, facilitating their access with informatic
tools. This network will have the following characteristics:

i) It will be sustained on the participation of the institutions
and validated by experts in each area;
ii) Information will be distributed in the databases that reside
in the participating institutions;
iii) Data will be updated continuously and integrated to the
network by experts, as a result of their work in the


As of this date, to create an Organizing Committee responsible of
establishing the main outlines and criteria for the network, and
of inviting other institutions to participate in it.


To install the Directive Council of the network on February 1994.

We are convinced that the consolidation of this network has
extensive implications, beneficial to scientific research and
also to our capacity as a nation to confront challenges of use,
monitoring and conservation of our biological richness. And since
this type of network has few precedents in the world, it will put
us on the front-line of the efforts to study the biodiversity of
the planet.

The text is followed by the signatures of one witness of honor
and 24 directors of institutions.

Witness of honor

Lic. Diodoro Carrasco Altamirano
Constitutional Governor of the State of Oaxaca

Directors of institutions

Dr. Juan Luis Cifuentes Lemus
Director General
Instituto Nacional de la Pesca
Secretaria de Pesca

M. en C. Juan Jose Consejo Duen~as
Biocenosis, A.C. en Oaxaca
y Coordinador del Instituto de la Naturaleza y la Sociedad de
Oaxaca, S.C.

Dr. Adolfo Espejo Serna
Vocal Ejecutivo
Consejo Nacional de la Flora de Mexico

Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra Real de Azua
Director General de Aprovechamiento Ecologico de los Recursos
Instituto Nacional de Ecologia, SEDESOL

M. en C. Rosaura Grether Gonzalez
Division de Ciencias Biologicas y de la Salud
Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana
Unidad Iztapalapa

Dr. Sergio Guevara Sada
Director General
Instituto de Ecologia, A.C.

Fis. Ana Luisa Guzman
Directora de Evaluacion de Proyectos
Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y
Uso de la Biodiversidad

Dr. Gonzalo Halffter Salas
Instituto de Ecologia, A.C.

Antrop. Antonio Hoy Manzanilla
Director General
Centro de Investigaciones de Quintana Roo

Dr. Fernando Jimenez Guzman
Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas
Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon

Dr. Alfonso Larque Saavedra
Profesor Investigador del Centro de Botanica
Colegio de Postgraduados

Ing. Juan Lobo Zertuche
Director del Comite de Seguimiento del Proceso de
Modernizacion de la Actividad Geografica
Instituto Nacional de Estadistica, Geografia e Informatica

Dr. Antonio Lot Helgueras
Instituto de Biologia
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

M. en C. Jorge Llorente Bousquets
Director de Analisis y Prioridades
Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y
Uso de la Biodiversidad

M. en C. Miguel Martinez Trujillo
Escuela de Biologia
Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo

Dr. Rafael Perez Pascual
Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Dr. Eulogio Pimienta Barrios
Facultad de Ciencias Biologicas
Universidad de Guadalajara

Dr. Manuel Robert Diaz
Centro de Investigacion Cientifica de Yucatan, A.C.

Dra. Graciela Rodriguez
Coordinadora de Asesores del C. Director General
Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia

Dr. Oscar Sanchez Herrera
Director de Flora y Fauna Silvestre
Por la Secretaria de Agricultura y Recursos Hidraulicos,
a traves de la Subsecretaria Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre

Dr. Jose Sarukhan Kermez
Coordinador Nacional
Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y
Uso de la Biodiversidad

Dr. Guillermo Soberon Chavez
Director de la Division de Graduados
Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
Campus Guaymas

Dr. Jorge Soberon Mainero
Secretario Ejecutivo
Comision Nacional para el Conocimiento y
Uso de la Biodiversidad

Dra. Thelma Lilia Villegas Garrido
Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Biologicas
Instituto Politecnico Nacional

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