Balandra is a wetland area

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Balandra is a wetland area situated in Mexico in an area called La Paz, Baja California Sur. It was the last undeveloped beach in La Paz and private developers wanted to develop it for tourism and residential infrastructure. Such development would have altered the mangroves, productivity, landscape, and recreational value of the area (250,000 inhabitants). Land owners refused to discuss the situation with citizens. Lack of political will to maintain Balandra in a pristine state as demanded by citizens forced them to intervene. They created a citizens’ movement (Collective Balandra) which had participation of 18, 000 citizens of all ages and social groups in movement. They achieved results that allowed for the long-term protection of Balandra. In addition, the federal, state, and municipal governments created political will and understanding among the social and ecological importance of Balandra and the need to protect it. Objectives and strategies were established by the steering committee. The overall goal was to secure the long-term protection of Balandra. The first objective was to transform citizens discontent into mobilization and this was to be achieved through basing campaign on citizens'''''''' concerns and on positive values and channeling participation through a citizens'''''''' petition, the second objective was building political will and social stewardship which was to be achieved through making citizens'''''''' values and support visible, using diverse campaigning methods: lobbying, public events, direct action, media, and environmental education, outreach with key social groups, policy influencers, and decision makers. The third objective was creating and enabling policy framework which was to be achieved through amending environmental law to allow municipalities to create protected areas. The fourth objective was to secure long-term protection through policies to be achieved through creating municipal protected area in watersheds, Federal marine protected area in wetlands.
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The process used to achieve this was by building the case that citizens had the right to enjoy an adequate environment for their development and that this right comes before any private interest. They created an enabling legal framework for municipalities to create protected areas. CEMDA and Niparaj ل collaborated with Congress Advisors in the drafting of a new chapter of the State''''''''s Environmental Law. The piece of legislation was submitted to the State Congress and the steering committee lobbied for its approval, this was done because owners have the right to profit from their private property, but the State was endowed to impose modalities to property. Launching the petition requesting the protection of Balandra gave citizens a constructive process for channeling their concerns. Although petitioning was a common participation method in other countries, it was not the case in Balandra. Citizens were motivated to participate
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