UNAM experts ask to suspend the Maya Train Project until the necessary environmental impact studies are properly conducted

(Photo: Sipse)

Researchers from UNAM and environmental organizations ask the federal government to suspend the section 5 of the Maya Train project until they have the necessary environmental studies to determine if construction is feasible or not, because a great affectation to the ecosystem could be done in some sections of the railway project.

(Sipse).- Through the Maya Train forum: Analysis of impacts from the Academy, experts such as Ana Esther Ceceña from the Economic Research Institute of the Autonomous Mexican University of Mexico, Luisa Falcón, from the UNAM Institute of Ecology, agreed that in the case of the Maya Train, specifically on section five (between Playa del Carmen and Tulum), it is a fact that there could be a significant negative impact and therefore there should be train on that section.

UNAM experts consider that the project needs to be suspended until all the studies that guarantee the correct lines and the least impact on the environment are obtained.

Yucatan Peninsula.

It is an urbanization project that is being presented, however, in the case of Quintana Roo in Playa del Carmen and Cancun, there has already been significant demographic growth, going from 3,000 inhabitants in 1980, to more than 252,000 today,  and the Cancun-Playa del Carmen area from 167,000 to 1.3 million inhabitants. , respectively, which brings a problem.

When at the beginning of the project it was warned that it would affect caves, aquifers, and now in section five it was evidenced because the first cave was deforested, which affects the ecosystem.

There is already experience with the potholes that have been had on the road and this, being a very fragile region as it has underground rivers and when dismantling without previous studies, there is a risk of affecting them, which is why the importance of the previous studies.

Injunctions are still waiting to be admitted
Gustavo Alanís, a representative of the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (Cemda), said that there are protections presented that have been waiting to be admitted for about a year and a half, which does not help to add to this situation in which the environmental legal framework is being violated. However, they continue to fight so that the “Amparo” (injunction) can be eventually accepted.

“One of the proposals is to connect Cancún with Progreso and Mérida and then go down to Campeche. There is already an advance through the highway, with this the first stage is considered and thus end this six-year term with the infrastructure project since the territory is not known and this will only be determined with the studies”, added Luisa Falcón.

The environmental organization Amigos de Sian Ka’an considered that the federal government should have the Environmental Impact Statement (MIA) for the construction of section five of the Maya Train, in order to know the risks and effects on the environment, due to the realization of this project.

“What is sought is not to cancel it but to suspend it in order to have the technical and scientific studies, especially from sections four to seven, with greater emphasis on section five, which do not have an Environmental Impact Statement (MIA)”, he explained.

Gonzalo Merediz Alonso, president of this non-governmental organization, said they are joining the request of other organizations to demand an evaluation of the possible risks and environmental damage. However, unlike other organizations, he made it clear that he is not calling for the project to be stopped.

“Our position is that an MIA is needed. We cannot say ‘stop it’, because it would be necessary to see in detail where there is MIA and where there is not, but where it is needed it is essential.

 

Mayan Train Project, unknown environmental impact
He recognized that “the great problem of the Mayan Train” is that it is not known what that environmental impact will be and the risks that carrying out this project entails.

“The route is changed and there are no environmental impact studies that really allow us to say what the impact will be on those underground rivers, on that jungle and that allows Semarnat to give an authorization – and if it does, with what series of conditions that help reduce that environmental impact – or deny it”

He said that first the federal government should focus on complying with the regulations, with environmental impact studies, so that later the routes can be determined, whether a bridge should be built or not, and precautionary measures that should be taken.

Merediz Alonso recognized that a train could be contributing to road and road safety, but first feasibility studies need to be established to know what will happen to the vegetation and what animal species will be affected, if these are protected by law, the impact on the caves, and the risks of this work.

The Yucatan Times
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