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Public meeting held between Maya Train officials and Cancun residents

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — “The MIA, prepared by the Institute of Ecology, rules out irremediable impacts on the environment or significant risks for karstic systems,” reported Fonatur in their press release.

The government agency made the statement Friday during a public meeting held between Cancun residents and the federal government. During the meeting, Fonatur also reported that“the work of the Maya Train in its 5 North section, from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, in Quintana Roo, meets the environmental and legal conditions for its construction in addition to providing environmental surveillance programs such as rescue of flora and fauna, reforestation, management of waste and soil restoration, among others.”

The panel that made up the Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (Fonatur) stated that “the study, prepared by the Institute of Ecology (Inecol) rules out that the Maya Train project could increase the trends of environmental deterioration historically registered in the area, which include the growth of the urban sprawl in the last four decades and the loss of mangrove surface.”

The EIS for section 5 North was presented Friday at the Public Information Meeting convened in Cancun by the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), and included question and answer sessions as well as the presentation of 11 papers by people interested in the topic.

The Inecol investigator, Rafael Villegas Petraca, affirmed that the legal framework is compatible for the construction and operation of the Maya Train in section 5 North, while the manager of the National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism (Fonatur), Efraín Olivares Lira, explained that there are specialized and specific studies of geotechnics and geophysics, for example, that allow delineating the conformation of the subsoil and the phreatic level of the area.

The Q and A public meeting was held before a full house in Cancun. Photo: Fonatur

The Inecol academic, Alexandro Medina Chena, highlighted that the Maya Train is 10 times less polluting than conventional transport, such as cars or trucks, and commented that there is no development project without some environmental impact, since even getting into a car has an impact, however, he said, they can also be mitigated and in the case of the Maya Train, the compensation actions will be well above the possible impact.

During the meeting, it was also stated that the Maya Train project seeks to create jobs, promote sustainable development, protect the environment of the area by discouraging activities such as illegal logging and species trafficking, as well as promoting land use planning in the region.

Section 5 North of the Maya Train consists of 43.57 kilometers with an impact on the municipalities of Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos and Benito Juárez, with Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen as the main urban areas.

It includes 16 pedestrian crossings, eight vehicular crossings, 32 drainage works and 60 wildlife crossings.