Proposed Greater Environmental Protections

A proposal is in the works to create the largest Natural Protected Area in the country

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), is holding public discussions on a proposal to create additional protected areas in the region. A Natural Protected Area (ANP), similar to the Biosphere Reserve, with a surface area of over 5.5 million hectares will be created. This new ANP will give Quintana Roo the largest natural protected area in the country. Currently, the Biosphere Reserve El Vizcaino in Baja California Sur at almost 2.5 million hectares is the largest in the country.

Everyone has been invited from politicians and economists to environmentalists and concerned citizens.

The discussions began on April 22 and will conclude on May 22. Over the course of the month, all those interested will have access to the study being used to support the proposal.

This project will consist of both land and sea, involving the surroundings of Lázaro Cárdenas, Isla Mujeres, Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Solidaridad, Cozumel, and land to the east of the Sian Kaan Biosphere Preserve and Reef, in Felipe Carrillo Puerto.

The Secretary of Ecology and the Environment, Rafael Muñoz Berzunza, commented that the state government feels this proposal is “a tool that has proven to be very useful in Quintana Roo for preserving natural resources in the ANPs.”

“It is important to remember that the Sian Kaan Biosphere is also an ANP, as well as Yum Balam. They are the two biggest and have demonstrated to be efficient in managing natural resources, where economic development and the conservation of resources are combined,” Muñoz Berzunza said.

He added, “to consider our Caribbean Sea as an ANP, guarantees that the economic activities which take place there will be strictly regulated and have less impact on the environment.” He observed, “today we observe a lot of activity throughout the Caribbean, most of which comes from providers of tourist services, which is why more order is required.”


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