Conservation alert: Mangroves threatened near Puero Morelos, Mexico
(posted to the Ramsar Forum, 10 June 1998)
Mexico Alert-Mangroves Threatened near Puero Morelos
I send this urgent action alert your way, asking that you please respond via fax to put pressure on the Mexican government to protect an important area of mangrove forests now threatened by a hotel development which was initiated on questionable grounds. Your response will help halt this unsustainable development, while protecting the region's valuable natural resources and wildlife for future generations. Please let me know if you have taken the initiative to respond for the sake of better judging the effectiveness of this outreach effort. Also, please send an e-mail with your letter to the government to the Mexican NGO working against this development project using the following e-mail address: email@example.com
Mexican Officials Needing Letters:
M,En C. Julia Carabias Lilo (SEMARNAP) Periferico Sur 4209 5o Piso Col. Jardines de La Montana Mexico D.F. 06500 Fax (5) 8290609 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Lic. Enriquw Provencio Instituto Nacional de Ecologia Fax (6) 8243382 email@example.com
Pedro Alvarez Icaza Director General Ordenamiento Ecologico E Impacto Ambiental Fax 6243687 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sample Letter of Concern
4rd June 1998
Dear Professor Julia Carabias:
We at the Mangrove Action Project have received the disturbing news that the mangrove forests located near Puerto Moreles are now threatened by a large-scale hotel development. The investor of the planned Hotel El Sid has been granted permission by your agency to construct a tourist hotel in the area which will adversely affect the mangroves there. We are quite concerned that this ptroject is proceeding without due reference to an environmental impact assessment which would have realized the potential threats to the mangroves and advised against this project. Since MAP is an international network concerned with the future of mangrove forests worldwide, we are urging you to please reconsider this decision, and allow a proper environmental assessment to be conducted concerning the effect of this hotel development on the surrounding ecology.
From the information we received, I present the following concerns for your review: 1.) Last year the representative of SEMARNAP in Cancun came to this Port and by means of threats tried to avoid the approved requirements of the Decree of the Marine Park in Puerto Morelos , thereby changing the law's intention to leave free a zone of protected beach and mangrove
2.) Taking advantage of the community acquiescence to the negotiation releasing said intention , the State Government sold these estates to the company " El Cid " to make a Mega Project in this place, for which already they initiated the construction of a road and scale models apparently positioning the first stone markers as required by the State Governor last Friday, in spite of the fact that neither studies of environmental impact nor proper official permits for the project were given. corresponding to these actions.
3.) The road, or avenue, which is 23 ms in width, including a center strip of 3 ms, was authorized; illegally by the State Delegate of SEMARNAP contrary to an earlier official decision which supports protecting the same area of mangroves. The Urban Director of Puerto Morelos rejected this plan by the PROFEPA to violate the established order
4.) The Governor of the State had declared the zones of mangroves, wetlands, and tidal flats an Ecological Park, establishing an official commission that must act together to give prior permission along with the Municipal President of Benito Juarez (Cancun), with the objective to give the community just compensation in exchange for mangrove lands affected by the construction of Hotel "El Cid."
5.) Many studies have already been done on these mangroves, among them biological characterizations establishing that mangroves are ALIVE, containing important populations of crocodiles and that their characteristics define the necessity to protect them, to conserve them and to maintain them with zero hotel density or urban developmental pressures, in fact necessitating that the State Government order an environmental impact assessment
6.)The project contemplates the construction of a 2800 room hotel, golf course, marina, etc.
7.) The commission establishing ecological management in the Cancun-Tulum corridor, have determined that the mangroves of Puerto Morelos must be classified as a protected zone.
Prof. Carabias, with due respect, I quote one of your own citizens who has alerted us to the plight of the mangroves in this region. I urge you to please listen to this important request for a halt to this unsustainable development now threatening a vital mangrove forest area:
WHAT CAN WE DO TO PROTECT OUR REEF, OUR MARINE PARK, BECAUSE 'EL CID' NOW HAS PERMISSION FROM THE SCT( SECRETARY OF COMMUNICATION AND TRANSPORT) TO BUILD A HUGE MARINA WITHOUT STUDIES AND SEMARNAP IS NOT INTERVINING. IF THE LAW PROTECTS ECOLOGICAL BALANCE AND PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT WHY DOESN'T THIS LAW PROTECT OUR MANGROVES IN PUERTO MORELOS?
CAN THE GOVERMENT FROM THE STATE TAKE THE MANGROVES WHICH ARE FEDERAL PROPERTY AND JUST SELL TO WHOMEVER THEY PLEASE?
YOU, MORE THAN ANYONE, KNOW THAT OUR INTERST IN PUERTO MORELOS IS TO HAVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT WITH AN ECOTOURISTIC PROJECT, WITH LOW DENSITY.
WE ASK FOR YOUR URGENT HELP AND SUPPORT.
Ana Luisa Aguilar Alamda Lu'um K'aanab A.C. Puerto Morelos
We at Mangrove Action Project appeal to you who better than anyone else knows the need to develop the area around Puerto Morelos in a sustainable manner, allowing only ecotourism projects of low impact. We ask for your urgent intervention, your help and support in stopping this high density, damaging development which will only financially benefit a small minority while robbing the rest of the region's residents of their intended national heritage. I respectfully await your reply.
Salud, Alfredo Quarto, Co-Director, Mangrove Action Project P.O. Box 1854 Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279 USA fax 206-545-4498 e-mail: email@example.com
PLEASE NOTE MY NEW EMAIL ADDRESS! < firstname.lastname@example.org >
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