Cancún, Quintana Roo – 25 countries are confirmed to the “High Level Meeting for Sargasso Care in the Greater Caribbean”, an event that was scheduled for Tuesday May 28th, and was finally postponed for a date to be defined.
The event has been promoted for several months now, and is organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE), features the participation of governments’ representatives, businessmen and specialists in the subject of sargassum.
José Chapur Zahoul, president of Cancun’s Palace Group, who is donating the catering service for the one-week event, confirmed that the meeting was canceled due to “electoral abstinence” in Quintana Roo, since elections will take place on June 2.
The Yucatecan businessman stated that the so-called “Sargasso Summit” was postponed until further notice, and most likely will be held in less than a month.
The cancellation of the meeting has generated confusion among the international community, because the presentation of a multinational program to combat the sargassum issue is expected, and the local government decided to postpone it for “political reasons” (elections).
According to the official preliminary program of the meeting, two keynote addresses and a dialogue panel with specialists from the United States were considered.
The state Secretariat of Environment (Secretaría estatal del Medio Ambiente) made an announcement saying that some of the countries confirmed for the summit are: the United States, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Honduras, Guatemala and Panama.
The conference, which will be rescheduled, will analyze and agree on actions to deal with the massive arrival of seaweed to the coasts of Caribbean islands such as: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad, and Tobago as well as Haiti, Guadeloupe, Belize (not an island), and Jamaica.
According to the official preliminary program, the meeting will address the Current situation of sargassum in the Greater Caribbean, The conditions for international cooperation in the region and steps to take for the construction of a common agenda.
Last weekend, Mexican navy ships reported to have collected 10 tons of seaweed offshore in the areas of Punta Cancun, Punta Nizuc, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras and Tulum.
Along the coasts of Cancun and the Riviera Maya, daily cleaning efforts are made manually by volunteers, municipal agencies and hotels in an effort to keep beaches clean and free of Sargasso.
Brazil a main contributor to the sargassum problem has yet to confirm assistance to the Summit.
The Yucatan Times Newsroom