Riviera Maya, Q.R. — After a several hour long meeting with a packed house, Fonatur says section 5 south of the Maya Train is environmentally viable. On Tuesday morning, locals gathered for a prearranged meeting on section 5 south.
The June 7 Maya Train meeting was announced by Fonatur June 6. In a press release, the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (Fonatur) reported that “possible impacts will be mitigated with soil, air and water conservation actions, environmental surveillance, relocation of flora and fauna, and measures derived from geotechnical and hydrological studies.”
The agency went on to say that the Maya Train project in section 5 south (Playa del Carmen-Tulum) is environmentally viable and, in the face of the deteriorating trend already registered in the Yucatan Peninsula, will contribute to reorganizing the environment with mitigation measures and conservation actions and environmental protection.
The federal agency released their statement after the Tuesday morning public information meeting was held in the Ejido Jacinto Pat in Tulum.
At the meeting, convened by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), staff from the Institute of Ecology (Inecol), the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA ) and the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur) answered 70 questions from the attendees.
Fonatur Works Manager, Efraín Olivares Lira, explained that the MIA is based on in-depth studies, including various geotechnical investigations on the incidence of karsticity in the layout of section 5 south, from which different solutions are derived for achieve a work that coexists harmoniously with the subsoil.
Lira explained that after the definition of the structure and the detection of cavities, a mapping and an appropriate design is made for each specific case, according to the characterization of the soil, and its support capacity is determined, as well as whether or not there is a need for some special kind of engineering.
Incol researcher, Rafael Villegas Patraca, specified that the route of section 5 south consists of 67.6 kilometers, and that the main urban areas through which it will run are Playa del Carmen, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal and Tulum and includes two stations, a maintenance base, 20 vehicle crossings and 30 wildlife crossings.
He added that for this diagnosis, the Regional Environmental System (SAR), not only the area through which the train will pass, but also its area of influence, was expanded to a polygon of 1,891 square kilometers in which relief, rock, climate, soils, land uses and vegetation, among other elements.
He indicated that the MIA also considered the linking of the line with other national public policies and international instruments of which Mexico is a party without there being opposition to the Maya Train project.
Among them, he mentioned the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean known as the Escazú Agreement, and the American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Fonatur also said “it should be reiterated that at the meeting it was stated that the MIA recommends an Environmental Surveillance Program and eight specific environmental programs.
“The first, which the Maya Train already complies with, consists of ensuring that all the actors involved in the construction, operation and maintenance of the train comply with their environmental obligations, that prevention, control and mitigation measures for environmental impacts are applied, and that the health of the ecosystems in the proposed layout and surrounding areas.”