April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

Mexican Government takes strong measures to safeguard the flora and fauna in Tulum

The Mexican government has fortified the Area of Protection for Flora and Fauna Jaguar, which is the second-largest environmental reserve in the Mexican Caribbean, located in Quintana Roo, by deploying the militarized National Guard and establishing a new park. This area is at the highest risk of invasions due to being located in one of the primary tourist and speculative zones.

The Protection Area for Flora and Fauna Jaguar (APFF Jaguar), located in the municipality of Tulum, has been established by decree since July 2022, and encompasses an area of 2,249 hectares. Within the 282-hectare buffer zone lie the archeological zones of Tulum and Tankah.

The three organizations responsible for the upkeep of this new reserve are the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp), the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and the National Guard. Over the past few months, they have conducted joint operations to ensure the protection of this area.

A reservation in the most visited archeological zone

Mexican Government takes strong measures to safeguard the flora and fauna in Tulum

José Manuel Ochoa Rodríguez, head of the Tulum and Coba archeological zone on behalf of the INAH, explained to EFE that during vacation periods, such as the recent Easter season, the influx of visitors increases considerably.

“We are talking about around 2,000 visitors and on certain days or certain moments the visit increases, reaching an estimated maximum of about 7,000 people per day,” he explained.

The walled city of the Mayans is only about 400 meters long and less than 200 meters wide, but part of its great attraction is that it is the only Mayan city in the world built facing the sea, with some of its most representative structures built near the cliffs.

The state Secretariat of Tourism estimates that in 2022, the archeological sites of Quintana Roo received 1.8 million tourists, but only Tulum registered 1.4 million.

Mexican Government takes strong measures to safeguard the flora and fauna in Tulum

Minerva Zárate arrived in Tulum with a group of tourists who left from the state of Oaxaca.

“This is my first time here, and I am enchanted with everything I have seen. We traveled by road as a group, everything was smooth, and we had no problems,” she said.

Ochoa Rodríguez explained that with the creation of the jaguar protection area, the largest feline in America, two polygons were created for better management of the reserve.

“This is part of what will be the Jaguar National Park, basically two polygons, one belonging to the Conanp, which is the Tulum National Park, and the other belonging to the INAH, which in this case is the Tulum and Tankah archeological monuments zone,” he said.

Protecting Tulum’s natural reserves and urban areas from invasion

Mexican Government takes strong measures to safeguard the flora and fauna in Tulum

The construction of a Tren Maya station and the announcement of a new airport in Tulum, which are priority works for President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, have further increased the value of urbanized land and the attempts to invade protected areas.

There have been several attempts to invade properties near the sea, others on the federal highway that connects the Riviera Maya with Cancun, and some that border urbanized areas.

During a tour of tourist areas in Tulum, Gabriel Bautista Tapia, Inspector General of the National Guard, explained that since February 14, new elements and a special group commissioned permanently for surveillance in the Jaguar Reserve have arrived.

Mexican Government takes strong measures to safeguard the flora and fauna in Tulum

“There is a force designated exclusively to the Jaguar Park that includes the archaeological zone and all the protected natural reserves, as well as the reserve of the Mexican Caribbean biospheres,” he said.

In addition, he acknowledged that one of their tasks is to prevent invasions within the grounds that are part of the reserve.

“The main risk is that people continue to enter and invade the various properties located within the park and carry out construction that, in some way, due to being a protected natural reserve, cannot be done,” he emphasized.

The 225 members of the National Guard have been deployed to all important locations in Tulum, and some units are guarding properties at risk of invasion.


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