April 6, 2024
Today´s Paper

SEDATU Workers Destroy Coastal Dune in Tulum

A group of citizens in Tulum has recently denounced the destruction of a coastal dune in Playa Maya, allegedly carried out by workers from the Secretariat of Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Development (Sedatu) as part of their adjustments to the Jaguar National Park. Images collected from the area indicate that excavation work has been undertaken in close proximity to the archaeological site. However, environmental authorities have yet to release any authorized environmental impact assessment regarding this protected area.

Videos and photographs that have been widely shared depict workers initiating the construction of an access point to the coast last weekend. As part of these efforts, large trenches were dug, from which significant amounts of beach sand were extracted and left scattered throughout the surrounding area. Tourists who have witnessed this destruction have been documenting the ongoing works.

This incident occurs during the nesting season of sea turtles in Quintana Roo, making it particularly worrisome. Tulum serves as an important arrival point for several turtle species, including the loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles.

Situated approximately 30 kilometers north of the ongoing destruction of the coastal dune lies the renowned Xcacel-Xcacelito Marine Turtle Sanctuary. The proximity of these two areas of ecological significance underscores the need for comprehensive protection measures.

A source within Sedatu has confirmed that the ongoing works are indeed part of the Jaguar National Park project. Furthermore, they claim that the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (Conanp) has authorized these activities. Despite multiple requests for further information from local news outlet Novedades de Quintana Roo, Sedatu has yet to officially provide any additional details.

The federal government declared the Jaguar National Park as a protected area for the preservation of jaguars and other species, covering a total of 2,249 hectares, in August 2022. This park is divided into two non-contiguous polygons, an unprecedented situation where the two sections are separated by an 11-kilometer distance with no established connection.

The destruction of the coastal dune in Playa Maya has raised concerns among environmentalists and local residents who fear the long-term impact on the fragile ecosystem. Preservation of the coastline and dunes is crucial for the protection of nesting sites for sea turtles and other vulnerable species. Environmental organizations are urging authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the alleged lack of appropriate permits and to ensure that all development activities are carried out in accordance with environmental regulations.

The incident serves as a reminder of the delicate balance between development and environmental conservation in popular tourist destinations such as Tulum. The region’s natural beauty attracts visitors from around the world, but this must be managed sustainably to avoid irreversible damage to the unique ecosystems that make Quintana Roo a biodiversity hotspot.

Local activists and concerned citizens are calling for increased transparency and public participation in decisions related to the management of protected areas. They argue that the conservation of natural resources should be a collective effort, involving not only governmental institutions but also the local community and tourists alike.

As the investigation into the destruction of the coastal dune continues, all eyes are on Sedatu and Conanp to provide clear answers and take appropriate action to mitigate the environmental impact. The fate of Tulum’s natural treasures hangs in the balance, and the responsible management of these areas will determine whether future generations can continue to enjoy the unparalleled beauty and biodiversity that Quintana Roo has to offer.

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