Maya Train could become a catalyst for conservation and sustainable regional development

Mérida, Yucatán (October 19, 2020).- The Maya Train is a project that will become a catalyst for the conservation of Protected Natural Areas and sustainable regional development, said Ulyses Huesca Tercero, general director of the social enterprise Ecoguerreros y Caminos del Mayab.

The specialist in Tropical Areas with more than 20 years of experience in sustainable development projects stated that the underlying reason for deforestation or loss of diversity in Yucatán is that conservation or sustainable management is not a business that generates large profits for the owners of lands with preserved flora and fauna (in Mexico these territories are mostly ejidos), and this is not different from what happens in other parts of the country or the world.

“People who conserve vegetation and natural resources in general, do not receive remuneration for carrying out this daily practice and unfortunately they do not have enough income to maintain use and management schemes, so most people end up dedicating their efforts to more lucrative options. Conservation does not represent an economic possibility for a dignified life, however, some options add value to the forest such as sustainable forest management, ecotourism, beekeeping, among others that contribute to combat deforestation ”, stated the Tropical Areas Specialist.

He explained that the forest ejidos have maintained their coverage and have even expanded it from the 1970s to the present – They were also presenting significant losses, but from the implementation of community management promoted by large advisory projects such as the Pilot Forest Plan, this process was reversed and now these areas are an example of conservation and sustainable management in Latin America.

“It is necessary to implement new innovative models in the entity where income is generated that contribute to these ends. But if the strategic investment is made as part of the Maya Train Project, allocating resources for the conservation of protected natural areas and the promotion of sustainable development with a territorial approach, that would be a wonderful thing”, Ulyses Huesca Tercero added.

“Being able to reconcile economic and social development with the principles of conservation and maintenance of ecosystems is the most important strategy that we can develop for conservation, in which the protection of Protected Natural Areas under voluntary schemes makes sense”, he continued.

Finally, the specialist explained that something that has been observed around the world is that reserves cannot remain isolated. Although they can be very vast regions, for many species that have very large displacements this is not enough, so they need regions that have exchange flows, hence the beginning of biological corridors.