Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

July 22, 2024
Today´s Paper

Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

Sedena seeks permits for a hotel in Jaguar National Park in Tulum, sparking environmental controversies and criticism for lack of prior studies.
Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

TULUM, Mexico—The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) has requested construction permits from the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) for a hotel within Jaguar National Park, a recently designated Natural Protected Area (ANP). This project, which has already begun, aims to complement the development of the Maya Train, which will be located at the entrance of Tulum on a disused airstrip.

The Environmental Impact Statement (MIA) submitted by Sedena details that the project involves developing a hotel infrastructure in Tulum, Quintana Roo. It includes phases of site preparation, construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual abandonment. The public investment allocated for this project amounts to 684.9 million pesos, and the works are designed to complement the nearby Maya Train station.

Jaguar National Park is one of the newest additions to Mexico’s network of Natural Protected Areas, created to preserve biodiversity and promote sustainable tourism in the region. However, this hotel project has sparked controversy. Like the Maya Train, it has faced criticism for commencing without the required MIA for land use change in forested areas.

Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

Since last year, military engineers have been working on the hotel’s construction. This pattern is similar to that observed in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, where infrastructure projects have advanced despite environmental concerns. The federal government defends these projects, arguing that they are essential for regional development and connectivity.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has not specified an exact completion date for the hotel, in contrast to the Maya Train, which is expected to be finished before the end of his administration. This hotel will serve tourists visiting Tulum and provide a support infrastructure for the Maya Train, one of the government’s most ambitious transportation and tourism development initiatives.

Critics argue that while these projects may benefit tourism and the local economy, they pose a significant environmental threat. The lack of prior environmental impact studies and the accelerated execution of the works are substantial concerns. Ecological and community organizations have voiced their opposition, emphasizing the need for sustainable development that respects the region’s unique ecosystems.

Sedena Seeks Permits for Hotel in Jaguar National Park

In addition to environmental concerns, there are worries about how these projects will impact local communities. Tulum, known for its natural beauty and Mayan ruins, has experienced rapid growth and development in recent years. While tourism has brought economic benefits, it has also created infrastructure, public services, and cultural heritage preservation challenges.

Jaguar National Park was created to protect endangered species and preserve natural habitats. The construction of a hotel in this area jeopardizes these goals, and the scientific community has called for a reassessment of the project.

Sedena’s proposed hotel in Jaguar National Park is a complex issue involving economic development, environmental preservation, and community interests. As the construction continues, the debate over balancing development and conservation remains crucial for the future of Tulum and the region.

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