PROFEPA, stands for, Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente and is Mexico’s Federal Agency of Environmental Protection. PROFEPA is an administrative office which has no relationship with the (SEMARNAT) Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales / Department of Environment and Natural Resources and it has its own technical and operational autonomy and was created on June 4th of 1992.
The main task of PROFEPA, is to create and enforce the Federal environmental laws of Mexico and therefore help maintain and contribute to a better sustainable development according theses Mexican environmental laws.
PROFEPA it is integrated with other branches and sub-agencies of the Mexican government as follows:
· Subprocuraduría de Recursos Naturales / Environmental Resources Agency
· Subprocuraduría de Auditoría Ambiental / Environmental Inspection Agency
· Subprocuraduría de Inspección Industrial / Environmental Industry Inspection Agency
· Subprocuraduría Jurídica / Legal Agency
· Unidad de Comunicación Social / Social Communication Unit
· Dirección General de Administración / General Administration Office
· Dirección General de Coordinación de Delegaciones / General County Coordination Office
· Dirección General de Estrategia Institucional, Evaluación e Informática / General Institution of Strategy, Evaluation and Information
Duties of the Mexican Environmental Protection Agency
The Federal Agency of Environmental Protection as part of its duties and responsibilities are:
I.To watch and evaluate the fulfillment of Mexico’s Federal laws applicable to prevent and control, environmental pollution, restoration of the natural resources, as well as the preservation and protection of the forest resources, wild life, marine colonies, mammals and aquatic species in risk; environmental resources, genetic ecosystems, the terrestrial federal marine zone, beaches and land created (by the lowering of the sea level) and any other marine water resources, any already protected natural areas, as well as any environmental impact or ecological or federal competition and to establish administrative policies for such effect.
II.To receive, investigate, take care or determine and coordinate with the right Mexican authorities, the allegation and any malpractice of the laws applicable to the resources, goods, ecosystems, to which it refers to in the previous fraction.
III. To safeguard the interests of the population and to increase its participation and cooperation in the monitoring and fulfillment of the environmental legal dispositions, as well as to offer you consultants relating to environmental defense and protection, the wild life and the natural resources.
IV. To coordinate the control and application of the environmental laws with other Mexican authorities, as well as each of the states, municipalities, the Federal District within its different sectors.
V.To emit resolutions derived from it’s Federal administrative procedures.
Background of the Environmental Protection Agency of Mexico
The Federal Terrestrial Marine Zone (ZOFEMAT) is a concept base on a recent Mexican legislation in consideration of public powers and Mexico’s National wealth (General Law of National Wealth); nevertheless, it has an old foundation derived from the Roman right, in which the necessity to preserve the shores of the sea for the State, by interests of the national defense.
Administering the concerns of the coastal zones; environmentally and as a private property, by ownership, use of beaches, the Zofemat and the land gained out the sea (TGM), the Federal Environmental Protection Office, through the individual Mexico States Sub offices of Natural Resources and its counties, are responsible to watch, to inspect and verify the fulfillment of the standardization that prevails with these national goods. PROFEPA oversees the legality of the users to the Zofemat area; mainly where tourist activities are developed, services, aqua culture and of any marine industries. In an orderly way they monitor the beaches and inspect the irregular occupations on the Zofemat and TGM, PROFEPA certifies the fulfillment of the requirements and conditions of legal titles that are granted for the use, enjoyed by those taking advantage of these goods for the public dominion of the Federation
What is the Beach or ZMFT?
In agreement with the General Law of National Wealth (Art. 119, fraction I), published in the Federation official Newspaper on May 20th of 2004, where coastal beaches exist, the Federal Terrestrial Marine Zone will be constituted by a strip of 20,00 meters in width of mainland, travelable and adjacent to these beaches.
By beach, it is understood (General Law of National Wealth Art. 7, fraction IV), the parts of land that by virtue the tide covers and uncovers, from the limits of highest tide to the annual limits of lowest tides.
The Regulation for the use of the Territorial Sea, Navigable Routes, Beaches, Federal Terrestrial Marine Zone and Land Gained Out the Sea, establishes its 4th article; that concerns coasts without beaches or rocky hills, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT)has the responsibility to determine the Federal Terrestrial Marine Zone.
Also considered as part of the Zofemat, the total surface of the cays and reefs; the strip of twenty meters that surrounds any type of water of marine origin, like estuaries, lakes, lagoons or natural marine water deposits connected directly with the sea, as well as the shores of rivers that blend with the sea, up to one hundred meters up the river.
When by natural or artificial causes, lands to the sea have been gained, the limits of the Zofemat will be settled according the new land configuration, in such a way that it will be understood, the land gained to the sea and the surface between the limit of the new Zofemat and the limit of the original one.
Legal Documents that authorize the legal occupation of the Federal Terrestrial Marine Zone:
CONCESSION TITLE: It’s a title provided by SEMARNAT for the use, concession or operation of the Zofemat for exclusive use for a precise amount of time; however it can be extended for a short period.
PERMISSION: Document that provides for SEMARNAT the use of the Zofemat, TGM or any other deposit of marine water, for a specific activity for one year. It is not extendable, but it is possible to re- apply for it again.
AUTHORIZATION: It is the resolution of SEMARNAT to change some of the conditions established in the concession title.
DESTINATION AGREEMENT: SEMARNAT will authorize the use of the Zofemat to any federal, state or municipal public organization and does not have a specific termination date. The property is not transferable and it cannot be used for another activity that is not the authorized one.
DESINTEGRATION OF TGM: It is when the land gained out the sea and is then authorized for sale in benefit to those who requests and fulfills the requirements by Law.