The Director of the World Heritage Centre, Ms Mechtild Rössler, and Mr Miguel Clüsener-Godt, Director of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, express their deep sadness and profound concern following the death, ascertained on 29 January 2020, of Mr Homero Gómez González, manager of a component of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Mexico), property inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008.
Ms Rössler and Mr Clüsener-Godt recalled that the death of Mr Homero Gómez González, the cause of which remains to be clarified, took place in an increasingly difficult context for those who work for the conservation of World Heritage sites. "I am very saddened by the death of Mr Homero Gómez González,” said Ms Rössler. “I offer my condolences to Mr Gómez González's family, his colleagues and all of those who, in Mexico and elsewhere, sometimes at the risk of their lives, work every day to protect this natural heritage which is shared by all of humanity. The World Heritage Centre is by their side. We will continue to work to strengthen the human and material resources of World Heritage site managers.”
Dedicated to the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve was established in 2006, and two years later inscribed on the World Heritage List because it is home to a natural phenomenon of exceptional beauty and aesthetic importance. Located on a mountain range about 100 km northwest of Mexico City, every autumn several million butterflies from North America cluster here, colouring the trees orange. In the spring, they resume an 8-month migration to eastern Canada before returning to Mexico.