The Akumalian

Akumal's Newsletter for its Extended Global Community
Quintana Roo, Mexico

[an error occurred while processing this directive]  The Akumal Council Connection

Akumal Council - CEA "Event" on April 18, 2007

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On Wednesday, April 18th, 2007, a major event took place at the Lol Ha restaurant.  Sergio Gonzalez Rubiera was the MC.

The dignitaries representing Akumal and the Municipality at the head table included:
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Paul Sanchez-Navarro Russell, Director, Centro Ecologico Akumal
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Loudes Heredia/ representing Laura Bush
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Lic. Filiberto Martinez / Secretario General del H. Ayuntamiento and Official Representative of the Mayor for this specific event.
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Gonzalo Arcila, President, Akumal Council
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Haydee Pastrana/ Directora de Desarrollo Economico del H. Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad.
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Javier Aranda Pedrero/Director del Fideicomiso para la Promocion Turistica de la Riviera Maya /Riviera Maya Tourism Board.
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Mary Carmen Domani/ Oficial Mayor del H. Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad

Lourdes Heredia, representing Laura Bush, delivered the welcoming speech, expressing the importance of the conservation and well being of Akumal, and she gave recognition to the foundation of Akumal by Pablo Bush, and his love of its natural beauty and concern for its future.

Paul Sanchez-Navarro then spoke about CEA's work in Akumal and why they are doing what they are doing, including a summary of CEA’s programs and the goal of Akumal becoming a model of sustainability along the coast.  Paul then introduced Miguel Angel Maldonado, Marine and Coastal Program Coordinator, who presented the main objectives of the Akumal Bay Zoning Program (POBAk).

Following the presentation there was a signing of symbolic agreement - CARTA DE INTENCION - by the participants to commit to the Bay Program implementation.  The signes included Akumal Dive Center, Akumal Dive Shop, Cooperativa de Pescadores de Akumal, Centro Ecologico Akumal, Las Casitas, Hotel Club Akumal Caribe, and Consejo de Desarrollo de Akumal, A.C.  Honorary signes were Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, Presidente Municipal de Solidaridad, and Capt. Arturo Martínez Ortiz, SCT. Capitania de Puerto.

The Akumal Bay Program is a long-term management program for Akumal bay, based on a consensus reached among the beachfront property owners, dive shops and fishermen.  It includes a designated navigation channel for the boats (they will not be able to travel about the bay now, only going in and out of the bay via marked channels); rules for the fishermen, tour operators, snorklers, etc. on how the bay is zoned and to be managed; a designated sea turtle protection zone (where the feeding area is - sea grass); and other basic management issues, based on a zoning plan.  The idea is to organize the use of the bay and work to restore its reef patches and protect the sea grass.  Another important element of the zoning for the boats is public safety, working to keep boat traffic and swimmers / snorklers apart to avoid any accidents.

This is just the first phase of the work in Akumal's bays.  The fishermen have signed agreements with the Akumal Dive Shop and Akumal Dive Center to work out of their established shops, and there will be no more selling on the beach, which was an illegal activity.  As part of the agreement, the fishermen will have "turns" to take fishing tours, so that the economic side of things is fair.

Over the next few weeks, CEA will work to include all of Akumal.  CEA is creating a community-based zoning program, which will be supported by SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment), as well as the State and Municipal governments. 

Gonzalo Arcila gave speech about the efforts of the Akumal Council’s work with the Municipality and the progress that has been made.

Lic. Filiberto Martinez / Secretario General del H. Ayuntamiento and Official Representative of the Mayor for this specific event delivered a speech supporting the Akumal Bay Program, and then officially delivering the Fideicaribe building to the Akumal Development Council, for use as police station and information center.

The meeting concluded, and the dignitaries went onto the beach to review zoning plan and see the buoys.

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