Photo: Cabo Pulmo marine reserve
A Chinese-U.S. joint venture said it is halting plans to build a large tourist development in northwestern Mexico due to the “well-founded” criticism of environmental groups.
In a note published in Mexican dailies, the Rivera Desarrollos BCS joint venture made up of China’s Beijing Sansong International Trade Group and U.S.-based Glorius Earth Group said it would immediately end an environmental-impact study of the Cabo Dorado project in Baja California Sur state.
The goal is to resume this procedure in the near future with a new project “that meticulously takes into account the well-founded criticisms that have been expressed and which we’ve listened to carefully and with the utmost respect,” it said.
Numerous environmental groups have urged the Mexican government in recent weeks to halt the project, saying it would pose a severe threat to the Cabo Pulmo marine reserve.
The $3.6 billion project was to have included construction of 22,503 hotel guestrooms in the same spot where another giant development project, Cabo Cortes, had been planned.
Mexico’s government canceled that earlier project in 2012 over environmental concerns.
Cabo Pulmo is a 7,111-hectare (17,550-acre) marine reserve that boasts the best-preserved coral reef in Mexico’s Pacific region.
Rivera Desarrollos BCS said its goal “is to achieve a project that benefits the area and fosters better care of the fundamental characteristics of nature and the environment.”
Friends for the Conservation of Cabo Pulmo, the Mexican Center for Environmental Rights, Wildcoast and Greenpeace, among other groups, argued that Cabo Dorado would create a settlement of 440,000 inhabitants with a water demand of 50 million cubic meters (1.76 billion cubic feet) annually and put Baja California Sur’s water security at “serious risk.”
The project also would affect the health of Cabo Pulmo’s coral reef system, according to scientific studies cited by the NGOs.