Paul Sanchez Navarro Russell, local activist, has worked for over 10 years on environmental and social issues of Akumal. He explains that a new tourism cooperative in the Pueblo of Akumal has been formed: Cooperativa Guías Ecológicos Nativos de Akumal. This group of nearly 100 local residents has incorporated important goals for sustainable community development through tourism into their organization.
On 14 January, Paul sent out the following information:
AKUMAL SEA TURTLE REFUGE
It is with incredible joy that we share the news that, after several meetings with the State Delegate of SEMARNAT, Raúl González Castillo and the Regional Director of the National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP), Ricardo Gómez Lozano, the Secretary of the Environment, Juan José Guerra Abud, has signed a decree to create the Akumal Sea Turtle Refuge! I have been working with the Cooperativa Guías Ecológicos Nativos de Akumal and the Secretary of the Environment (SEMARNAT) to establish this very important protection measure for all of Akumal. The formal process has begun with this decree, and now it has to be published in the Diario Oficial Federal (federal official paper) to become legal. After that, we begin a process to develop an official management plan, guided by SEMARNAT and the Federal Wildlife Agency (DGVS) and with the whole community participating.
In conjunction with the newly created No Fish Zone in Akumal we will finally be able to conserve and sustainably use Akumal’s wonderful natural heritage and ensure the economic development of the community.
Over the next few months we will be working with the whole Akumal community to prepare for the management plan process. Thank you to everyone who has supported our efforts. Please join us in protecting this amazing Place of the Turtles.
We will keep you posted.