In association with this organization the state wants to take advantage of its natural riches through alternative tourism….
MERIDA — To promote conservation, sustainable tourism development and scientific research on cenotes, caves and aquifers of the state, Yucatan joined the Association of Ibero-American Tourist Caves (Actiba).
At a press conference, the head of the Urban Development and Environment Secretariat (Seduma), Eduardo Batllori Sampedro, reported that the entry was formalized jointly with the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), with the intention of making alternative tourism a spearhead for the local economy.
Accompanied by the academic IGME Pedro Agustín Robledo Ardila, the official recalled that Yucatan has the registry of almost 75 georeferenced caves and two thousand 896 cenotes. Of the cenotes, between 50 and 60 are used for recreation. In that sense, he underlined the importance of promoting the study of these bodies of water.
In the presence of specialists from the Chemistry Unit of the Yucatan Academic Unit of the UNAM in Sisal and of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY), Flor Árcega Cabrera and María Isabel Bolio Rosado respectively, Batllori Sampedro indicated that from now on the Actiba organization will be used to share experiences and knowledge in various areas, as well as to strengthen capacities and exchange of all kinds of information.
He added that the intention is to establish alliances to seek resources aimed at boosting the economy, so as to integrate the inhabitants of communities, but also with the purpose of protecting the cenotes, caves and aquifers, which for now are not exploited due to the lack of knowledge about them.
After emphasizing that due to its geological richness Yucatan is on the level of Spain, France, Portugal and Slovenia, Robledo Ardila offered that Yucatán host the third Congress of Caves in 2022, a meeting for academics, researchers and specialists related to scientific caving, mining and heritage.
Before the Director of Infrastructure and Tourist Products of the Ministry of Tourism Development (Sefotur), Jorge Romero Herrera, the representative of the IGME stressed that the wealth that the state has made it a suitable site for in-depth studies of the region, combined to the impulse of a new segment of visitors interested in knowing more of these natural attractions.
Since Yucatan belongs to the Actiba, it is automatically part of the International Association of Tourist Caves (ISCA), so being part of this network allows us to expose the rich underground heritage that owns the territory and promote this type of tourism, which complements the sun and beach.
The themes of the collaboration include the promotion training for managers and guides in this area of entertainment, as well as comprehensive advice for the study, opening and start up of any cenote or grotto.
In the field of study the professor of the Chemical Unit of the UNAM, Flor Arcega Carrera, mentioned that it is fundamental for young students of any area to generate experiences and fieldwork in their area.
In that sense, she explained that the students in her charge, especially those of the Degree in Sustainable Management of Resources, are those who will be in Yucatan to carry out these investigations, which will be endorsed by the Actiba.
She added that the objective of this work is not only professional experience, but also learn to make their natural resources their own, as well as generate a higher vision in terms of sustainability.
The teacher added that it is important to create a link in conjunction with the Autonomous University of Yucatan, for the exchange of knowledge.
She explained that, although there are still no exact numbers of students who will arrive in the state, they expect to start activities in January 2018.
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