Expert insists that the wetland be declared a Protected Natural Area
Experts from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) Mérida Unit and the Institute of Ecology (IE) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Mérida Unit work on the restoration of the mangrove on the shores of the Bacalar lagoon as one of the measures necessary for the recovery of its seven colors; the academic Luisa Falcón Álvarez insists that Bacalar be included as a wetland of international importance and that it be declared a Protected Natural Area.
Falcón Álvarez said that in view of the deterioration of the Laguna de los Siete Colores, the Citizen and Scientific Council for the Restoration and Preservation of the Bacalar Aquifer and Lagoon System was formed, made up of scientists from the Colegio de la Frontera Sur (Ecosur), the UNAM and other institutions in the region, who have worked around the phenomenon.
“We have to make the authorities understand that this region of southern Quintana Roo is very beautiful, but also very fragile,” said the researcher in an interview published by the UNAM Gazette, adding that various scientific groups have warned of the deterioration of the lagoon for about seven years and it has been requested that it be included among the Ramsar sites, which recognize this area as being of national importance or that it be declared a Protected Natural Area.
The researcher adds that these proposals have not prospered because there is “a misconception with conservation”, where people believe that they will not be able to do anything. “However, it is the other way around, if you take care of the resource you can take advantage of it for the rest of your life and this has deteriorated the ecosystem,” he said.
In this same sense, he indicated that together with the municipalities of Bacalar and Othón P. Blanco they will carry out an environmental conference so that the inhabitants know about the relevance of mangroves for filtering sediments, the absorption of excess nutrients in aquatic ecosystems and sediment compaction.
Among the actions they seek is the recovery of the natural beauty of the lagoon, which was lost in the middle of last year derived from the runoff caused by tropical storm Cristóbal and they are working on the preparation of a “report card”, in which Ecosystem health indicators will be recorded, including a traffic light that will indicate whether health is good, fair or poor.
Luisa Falcón considered that a work that involves society, developers, promoters of the Mayan Train and academics is necessary so that a project is carried out in accordance with what the ecosystem in Bacalar allows.