TULUM, Mexico – The Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (Sedatu) has launched an investigative process following the recent fire in Tulum’s Protected Natural Area of the Jaguar Park. The project, which stands as one of the flagship initiatives of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration, will continue on schedule despite the incident.
In an official statement, the Sedatu, under the leadership of Román Meyer Falcón, confirmed that an investigation is underway in cooperation with relevant authorities to determine the root causes of the fire. Furthermore, experts in the field are assessing the Southern Access point to ascertain any additional damage that may require attention from the project’s responsible company.
It is worth noting that Southern Access represents just 0.05% of the entire project. Despite the incident, the construction will proceed as planned and within the designated timeframe.
The fire, which was initiated at approximately 3:00 PM local time, primarily affected the palm-thatched roofs at the Southern Access construction site. Quick response from the relevant authorities, including Tulum’s Civil Protection and Firefighters, ensured that the fire was fully controlled within 30 minutes. Importantly, the incident did not result in any reported injuries, damage to local hotels, or harm to the nearby Archaeological Zone 3.5 kilometers from the site.
Back in November 2022, Román Meyer had previously announced that the Jaguar National Park project is slated for completion in the first half of 2024. The estimated investment for this ambitious undertaking is expected to surpass 1 billion pesos through the Urban Improvement Program. This project is instrumental in preserving the natural environment and its diverse wildlife, covering an extensive area of 260,000 hectares.
An interesting development occurred in April 2023 when Sedatu announced the successful conclusion of the first phase of the project. This phase involved the construction of a 21.7-kilometer-long perimeter wall, which defines the boundaries of the Tulum National Park (TNP) and the Jaguar Flora and Fauna Protection Area (APFFJ). Additionally, a 1.8-kilometer-long bicycle path was established along Cobá Avenue, comprising two service modules and a series of planters that serve both as a buffer from vehicular traffic and a catalyst for active mobility in Tulum.
For the upcoming third phase, Sedatu originally envisioned the creation of six new public beach access points, with an investment exceeding 189 million pesos. However, during a supervisory tour, Meyer Falcón clarified that the plan now involves the construction of two new beach access points and the rehabilitation of four existing ones.
This incident underscores the importance of rigorous safety measures and comprehensive planning in safeguarding valuable environmental projects like the Jaguar National Park. Sedatu’s commitment to the investigation and continuity of the project is essential in achieving the goals set forth by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s administration, while simultaneously preserving Tulum’s rich natural heritage.