Mexico City, 15 January 2012.- Earlier today, President Calderón announced the cancellation of the Cabo Cortés Project in Cabo Pulmo.
Cabo Pulmo, in the Sea of Cortés in Baja California, is the only coral reef in the Gulf of California. An incomparable part of Mexico’s natural heritage, it is one of the reefs with the highest coral coverage in the world. In 1995, over 7,000 ha of the surface, including Cabo Pulmo, were decreed a Natural Protected area under the category of Natural Park. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2005 and an important wetland by Conservation Ramsar in 2008.
During his message, the president explained that the Hansa Baja firm had applied for a building permit for a mega tourist development known as Cabo Cortés. Due to Cabo Pulmo’s environmental importance, the possibility that the Cabo Cortés development might be built elicited the concern of local communities, academics and environmental organizations. The concern involved the fact that a development on this scale could harm the coast and beach and severely damage the reef ecosystem. In response to this situation, declared the President, the Federal Government assumed a responsible attitude and sought to ensure strict adherence to the law. The civil and environmental organizations, scientists and citizens who expressed their concerns were attended and all the environmental, technical and legal aspects and appeals submitted to SEMARNAT were reviewed.
As a result of this review, the government determined that the Cabo Cortés Project, as presented, failed to demonstrate its sustainability, as a result of which it was decided to cancel the conditional authorization of the project’s environmental impact.
On the subject of the project’s cancellation, the president underlined the fact that this shows the Federal Government’s firm commitment to a policy of high environmental standards for all kinds of projects, including tourist projects, to ensure the conservation of Mexico’s natural wealth.
The president added that the investors and owners of the plots of land would not be neglected. The federal government is determined to respect investors’ rights and assets. It is also willing to accompany interested parties to undertake a new project that will yield benefits for the inhabitants of the zone through tourism. This project will fully guarantee the conservation of the country’s natural heritage.
“It is possible to follow a model of sustainable development that will take advantage of the natural advantages of our territory and attract investment and tourism and create jobs without irreversibly affecting ecosystems and biodiversity, which is the point of green growth.
The president concluded by saying that green growth is a key issue on the Mexican G20 Presidency’s agenda that will be dealt with at the summit to be held in Los Cabos.