Senate “freezes” Bill that deals with sargassum in Quintana Roo

The Senate left in the freezer a bill to address the problem of sargassum in Mexican beaches despite the fact that its arrival has affected 30% of tourism in the Peninsula, only in 2018 the economic damage was more than 5 thousand 286 million pesos, according to the Presidential Commission for Attention to the Arrival of Sargassum in the Caribbean.

The draft Bill is not part of two extraordinary periods that the Senate will have, in May and June, so its discussion and approval will not be until September when the new regular period starts.

Figures from the Secretariat of Tourism of Quintana Roo, until April 28, 2019, indicate that hotel occupancy in Cancun and Puerto Morelos was 76.1%, 5.5% less compared to the same period in 2018, when it was 86.4% ; in Isla Mujeres it was 70.9%, a reduction of 4.3% with last year, when it added 76.6%. The Riviera Maya reported occupation of 84.1%, down 3.9%, when it was 87.2%.

Image result for sargasso playa del carmen

The Bill that was left stranded in the Environment and First Legislative Studies Commissions, has as its objective to include sargassum within the General Law of Civil Protection (LGPC), so that when arriving at the seas be considered as an emergency and natural disaster, with the intention of providing support to the population and access to financial resources (Fonden).

As in the General Law for the Prevention and Management of Waste, because the states where there is presence of sargassum are overrun to remove it in an organized, effective and without damaging ecosystems.

In addition to reforming the General Law on Climate Change, in order to include the phenomenon of sargassum in the national climate change policy, in the fund for this item and citizen participation, to reduce the vulnerability of the seas and the inhabitants.

The government of Quintana Roo said that in 2018, more than 522 tonnes of sargassum were removed. The University of Florida, United States, predicts that for this year, the arrival of sargassum to the Caribbean will be massive, so that damage to the ecosystem and tourism will be “severe.”

The draft Bill seeks to establish that in the Civil Protection Law, in its article 26: “the conservation of ecosystems and their biodiversity, giving priority to wetlands, mangroves, reefs, dunes, coastal ecosystems, coastal zones, and lagoons, which provide environmental services, primarily to reduce vulnerability.

The Bill that emerges from the initiatives of Senator Mayuli Latifa of the National Action Party (PAN), Eduardo Murat of the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM), and Marybel Villegas de Morena, promotes the obligation to conduct studies, research and training to prevent and attend to disturbing natural phenomena; as well as to summon the organizations of the social, academic and private sector to manifest proposals to prevent and minimize risks due to natural disasters. 

Source: el universal, nitu

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