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Old 08-07-2017   #1 (permalink)
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Holbox.....paradise lost?

Translated from todays PorEsto

In recent years, the island of Holbox has become, in short, a living and lacerating example of the lack of planning in the tourist destinations of the entity and the country and of the uncontrolled avarice of tourist companies, which translates In practices of environmental and human depredation.
For two weeks, the place known as the treasure of the Mexican Caribbean, is in the forefront after the collapse in basic services such as water, electricity, garbage, drainage, as well as speculation and irregular sale of land.
Given this, the inhabitants fear the worst, because in a short time the collapse would generate irreversible environmental problems, as well as the loss of tourism in holiday seasons, as has happened now.
"If we lost a lot of tourism"; Said Bárbara Hernández, president of the Holbox Hotels Association. The loss of tourists occurred two weeks ago when there was the threat of closing the island to visitors
In numbers there is talk of at least a 30 percent drop, as the threat of closure is still latent and social networks have highlighted the fact that Holbox currently lives a major collapse.
"We can not remove the finger of the line, we have to continue to request the support of the authorities, but if we were directly hit by the fact that we said we would close the island, at least we lost a 30 percent tourist arrival," said Barbara Hernandez
For the president of the Holbox Hotels Association, reality indicates that the crisis has been caused by disorder, excessive growth, corruption and the absence of the authorities at all three levels of government.
It should be noted that the infrastructure of the island - originally conceived for a thousand inhabitants - was definitely surpassed by a population growth of more than 400 percent, to which has been added the constant increase in the number of visitors, which in a week Anyone amounts to about six thousand, but that has known peaks of between 12 thousand and 15 thousand tourists, as it happens in the current holiday season.
Such saturation led to a crisis in the supply of electricity and potable water and caused a collapse in drains and landfills, so that inhabitants and travelers face unhealthy, dangerous and extremely uncomfortable circumstances.
The picture is not flattering, however, for Bárbara Hernández, in Holbox there is no plan b, so authorities should be kept with attention on an island that holds much of the tourist history of Quintana Roo.

Environmental collapse

Since a year ago, organizations such as Greenpeace and Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (Cemda) have warned of deficiencies in services in Holbox and the overexploitation of this and other destinations that make up the Yum Balam Protected Natural Area (ANP) in Quintana Roo .
Within the framework of the Management Plan of the area, the organizations sent to the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) a document urging them to limit the number of permitted guests on the island and present figures regarding the number of visitors And tourists arriving at the Protected Natural Area.
In the deployment that was also supported by organizations such as Salvemos Tajamar, Moce Yax Cuxtal and the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) mention that the growth of hotel infrastructure and tourism services has exploded despite the fact that in none of the localities is there a network Nor adequate infrastructure necessary to provide basic services such as potable water, electricity and waste collection.
"It is a collapsed island, there are too many tourists, there is no solid waste management, there is no adequate water treatment; In fact we speak of a tourism that is not sustainable, it is not lasting.
"Since November we have warned: this island is collapsed, there will come a time when it will not last longer, and as we do not know what the carrying capacity is unknown the actual excess of tourists it receives," explained Miguel Rivas, doctor in Biology and in charge of the campaign of oceans of Greenpeace.
In November last year, NGOs noted that the authorization of "support services infrastructure" and heliports put at risk a highly conserved area of ​​Isla Grande, in Holbox, which is habitat for hundreds of species, Exchange of nutrients between ecosystems and biological corridors for species of wide range of distribution.
In addition to the threat to the wildlife of the reserve, the unhealthiness of garbage and the collapse of drainage is a constant risk to the local population because of the pollution left by tourism, said the biologist.
"The theme of Holbox is like killing the hen of golden eggs, has a wonderful place that receives a number of tourists that is not controlled and end up hurting the place that nowadays not only have to do with an environmental problem but With the tourists who are leaving to reach the area, "he warned.
The same organizations issued an alert this year calling on the UN rapporteur to conduct a thorough investigation and urge the authorities to fulfill their obligations to respect and protect the human right to clean water and sanitation in the communities of Yum Balam and Of its visitors.
Miguel Rivas explained that in the follow-up that the organization has given to the development of the Yum Balam Management and Preservation Program, Protected Natural Area to which Holbox belongs, in November the Conanp announced that it was already ready, however, it has not Been published in the Official Gazette of the Federation.
In America, only the Brazilian island of Fernando de Noronha, cataloged as Natural Park Marinho, has a management plan for its preservation in which is limited the number of visitors to 650 people, who pay a tax to stay in this, and its inhabitants Do not exceed 3 thousand 600.


Greenpeace detected some irregularities last year:

Hotels that dumped drainage wastes in the island's mangrove.

There was no sewage system.

The garbage on the island was concentrated in an open air dump.

There was no proper solid waste management.

Mangrove logged despite federal law prohibits it.

The beach was contaminated with solid waste.

Rent rooms without regulation by Airbnb

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