Sustainability and environmental responsibility are at the core of Axalta’s mission. Through the “Mangrove Experience,” several Axalta employees gained a better understanding of why it is critical for Axalta to continue to support these efforts, and for other companies to become involved. The Mangrove Experience curriculum is part of DUMAC’s Programa Reserva conducted at its educational center in the Yucatan. Established in 1989, the Programa Reserva has provided more than 550 representatives from government agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations throughout Latin America with educational resources related to conservation which they have taken back and applied to enhance conservation projects in their home countries.
“Mexico accounts for about six percent of the world’s remaining wetlands, approximately 8.2 million acres. Unfortunately, more than 36 percent of the world’s wetlands have been lost in the last 100 years, primarily due to human activities,” said DUMAC Executive Director Eduardo Carrera. “DUMAC has restored and enhanced more than 1.5 million acres throughout Mexico in areas that are important for wintering waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. With partners like Axalta, we can continue to do this work well into the future.”
The “Mangrove Experience” included a boat trip to the Celestun estuary and a hike through red, black, white, and buttonwood mangroves to promote a greater awareness of how the plant grows and why it is essential to conserve mangrove wetlands. Mangroves play a vital role in the ecosystem by protecting coastal areas from flooding, providing habitats for marine and other wildlife, and by supporting managed tourism which can help the economy.
“It was a wonderful experience that helped put DUMAC’s mangrove conservation into perspective,” said Rodrigo Tajonar, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Director, Axalta Latin America. “Seeing the threats facing mangroves helped the group understand how vital this conservation effort is and how Axalta directly benefits the wildlife and water quality in Mexico.”
DUMAC has classified 27 million acres of wetlands and uplands as part of its Wetlands Inventory Program and 28 key wetlands for waterfowl in Mexico are included in the Ducks Unlimited Continental Conservation Plan. Axalta became a corporate partner with Ducks Unlimited in 2015 through a multi-year wetlands conservation program.
“Axalta is committed to its partnership with Ducks Unlimited and DUMAC, and we offer our enthusiastic support for wetlands conservation throughout North America and Mexico,” said Regina M. Tracy, Head of Axalta’s Global Corporate Social Responsibility. “Sustainability is fundamental to our business and we are proud to support and witness the work that DUMAC and Ducks Unlimited do each day.”