As the indigenous ecology of the Playa Del Carmen area is the center point of so much attraction, the outgoing Governor of the state of Quintana Roo, Félix González Canto designated 3 new reserves today. This designation totals over 76,000 acres on the Yucatán Peninsula.
According to the legislation, Two of the new reserves, Chichankanab Lagoon State Reserve (28,600 acres), and Bacalar Lagoon Ecological State Park (12 acres) will protect important water sources on the mainland of the Yucatán Peninsula. The 49,000-acre Cozumel Forest and Wetlands State Reserve is being created on the island of Cozumel off the eastern coast of the Playa Del Carmen to protect forest and wetland resources.
Andrew Rothman, of the American Bird Conservancy’s International Conservation Officer who heads the organization’s Mexico program said “We are thrilled to see the government step up to the plate and take this action. Mexico is a wonderful birding destination, but like many other parts of the world, it is rapidly losing precious bird habitat to agriculture and development. Large land protection efforts such as this will go some way to conserving native bird populations and U.S. migrants that winter there or stop over en route farther south,”
In the same report, Gonzalo Merediz, the Executive Director of Amigos de Sian Ka’an (which means Friends of the local ecological habitat which is named the Sian Ka’an) “The new protected area in Cozumel is one of the most important conservation actions by the state government of Quintana Roo in many years. It not only represents a tool to preserve pristine tropical forest and endemic bird and mammal species, it also helps to promote a sustainable development on the largest inhabited island in Mexico and the most important cruise destination in the world. On the other hand the official protection of the Chichankanab lake creates the opportunity to create low impact ecotourism projects to help the local communities that are among the poorest in the Yucatan while directly protecting six endemic fish species”
This indicates another recent and important step in the effort which developers and the Mexican – American conservation communities work together to keep the beauty of the Riviera in full bloom.