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21 de March de 2018Climate Change Affects Road Network in Mexico
1img - Climate Change Affects Road Network in Mexico

A study carried out by CAF - development bank of Latin America - and the Centro Mario Molina, showed that there are 105,000 sites in Mexico in danger of flooding. The study puts forward strategies and measures to reduce the dangers caused by hydro-meteorological phenomena and extreme weather conditions on Mexico’s roads.

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How vulnerable is Mexico’s road network in the face of extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change? There are 105,000 sites in Mexico at risk of rivers flooding, including 200 priority sites at the highest risk, mainly in Veracruz (84), Tabasco (27), San Luis Potosi (25), Chiapas (18) and Oaxaca (14). These are some of the results of the study carried out by CAF - development bank of Latin America - and the Centro Mario Molina. The purpose of the study was to analyze risk management and vulnerability in the face of climate change and extreme weather conditions on Mexico’s roads.

One of the greatest dangers is landslides to which four priority roads in the country are exposed: Portezuelo-Cd. Valles (93 km), Pachuca-Tuxpan (65 km), Paso del Toro-Acayucan (56 km) and Villahermosa-Escopetazo (54 km). The report found that only 2% (830 km) of paved roads are exposed to very high risk of landslides.

Extreme temperatures and their constant evolution in the future pose the danger of the road surface on 99% of roads in Mexico cracking and deforming, so preventive action needs to be taken and adjustments made to reduce the environmental, social and economic impact.

The results of the fifteen-month project were presented in the form of proposals for specific action to key government authorities, academics, the private sector and international cooperation agencies at an event held at the Hotel Presidente Intercontinental de Polanco in Mexico City on March 20. The proposals discussed included measures to tackle extreme temperatures, flooding of rivers, landslides, improving the capability of institutions and making changes to legislation, including:

  • Amending and updating regulations for road building and maintenance, including action to combat climate change.
  • Increasing the responsibility of those involved in road building.
  • Improving liaison between the government departments involved in the road sector.
  • Introducing programs for critical parts of the country that are exposed to extreme temperatures.
  • Increasing the budget for providing basic information about risk management on roads, so that there are better climate change scenarios and better analyses for estimating the recurrence of disasters.

“We must adopt a preventive approach when building hard-wearing roads, as it is the most efficient in terms of cost and results than response action. In this context, the study’s first contribution is providing technical information to assist the decision-making process, and its second is putting forward the introduction of strategies and specific measures to deal with and prevent disasters, to improve people’s standard of living and increase the country’s productivity", said Emilio Uquillas, representative director of CAF in Mexico.

Carlos Mena Brito, Executive Director of the Centro Mario Molina, thanked CAF for the opportunity to take part in the project, so that climate risk may be incorporated when planning the national road network. He also thanked the Mexican Transport Institute for all its help during the project.

The event was attended by the Department of Communications and Transport, the Mexican Transport Institute, the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, the National Water Commission, the Treasury Department, the Banco de Mexico, NAFIN, BANCOMEXT, BANOBRAS, the Cooperacion Alemana, the College of Mexico, the Mexican Association of Transport and Mobility, ECLAC, WRI, the Airport Group of Mexico City, the FiiDEM Alliance, UNDP, and other organizations.




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