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    Depredation of natural resources is faced in Ciego de Ávila

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    More than 200 people have been fined in the province of Ciego de Ávila, during the current year, for committing illegalities associated with the depredation of wild flora and fauna, incidents that affect biodiversity and ecological balance.

    The logging of wood and the capture and commercialization of birds constitute the most representative manifestations and are defined as priorities in the Government Plan for the Prevention and Confrontation of Illicit Flora, Fauna and other natural resources, the Office of Regulation and Environmental Security ( ORSA) reported.
    Despite the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ranger Corps (CGB), Border Guard Troops and the National Office of State Fisheries Inspection remained active against the felling of trees and the capture of birds and marine species, Jany Lima Moreno, ORSA specialist, said.
    Daylon Fundora Caballero, head of the Department of Natural Resources of the Subdelegation for the Environment, alluded to the risk posed by these events, most of which occurred in the six protected areas of the province.

    Incineration of occupied cages

    They are concentrated in the Great North Wetland of Ciego de Ávila (GHNCA), identified as the area of ​​greatest biodiversity and declared a Ramsar Site since 2002 due to its natural values ​​and international importance, he stressed.
    Poaching has had an impact on the decrease of birds such as parrots and cateyes, with a distribution very restricted to conserved areas, where vigilance and protection are extreme, the also specialist in Protected Areas and Biodiversity emphasized.
    Smuggling of wild bird species is one of the essential causes of decline and extinction, with a greater negative impact on oceanic islands such as Cuba, where populations of many species are limited in number and distribution, he held.

    He added that birds help maintain the balance of ecosystems and play a decisive role as biological controllers, seed dispersers and pollinators; therefore, there is concern and the fight against illegal capture and trafficking is intensified.
    Fundora Caballero specified that, to a lesser extent, the province reports cases of extraction of reptiles, jutías, mollusks, corals, starfish or other animals that are striking.
    He pointed out as a weakness that the Provincial Company for the Protection of Flora and Fauna, administrator of the protected areas, lacks the forces, means and legal power to counter in a constant and timely manner the illicit acts that threaten natural resources.

    According to a CITMA report, in a land belonging to the Business Unit of Agroforestry Base of the municipality of Baraguá, an illegal mining activity (gold extraction) was recently faced that involved some 300 individuals, residents of the place and in the provinces of Camagüey, Las Tunas and Holguín.

    An informative note from the CGB stated that at the scene of the events, rustic tents were detected and destroyed, where around 100 people were staying overnight; and deep excavations were observed.
    The testimonies of citizens detained red-handed revealed that the extracted stones were transferred to the territory of Camagüey, where they were sold at 1,000.00 pesos in national currency, considering that a gram of gold has a value of 2,500, says the official document.

    As a result of the confrontational actions - the report defines - four complaints were filed for the crime of Illegal Minerals Traffic and another for the Improper Use of Natural Resources, in addition to official warnings to 34 citizens linked to illegal extraction. It also specifies that 90 fines were applied for violations of decree laws, occupied 50 sacks with 47.4 kilograms of mineral stone, two bicycles, an animal-drawn vehicle (with a horse included) and tools used for excavation and metal detection. Likewise, prophylactic measures were applied to 70 people from the provinces of Las Tunas and Camagüey.

    The government plan for the prevention and confrontation with the events that affect natural resources is the result of a rigorous study on the deficiencies in the management, from which the responsibility of the organizations responsible for the protection and sustainable use of the environment.
    Considered the third most lucrative business in the world, the illicit trade in protected species of wildlife and other natural resources constitutes an international problem that Cuba does not escape from.