Colombia president Juan Manuel Santos on Friday said his administration ”will not allow environmental licencing” for tourism companies that wish to exploit Tayrona National Park in Colombia’s Caribbean coast.
Tayrona National Park, in the northern department of Magdalena, has been the focus of a contentious debate between corporate tourism companies who wish to turn part of ”the jewel of the Colombian Caribbean,” into an “ecotourism” resort complete with a seven-star hotel and those who wish to preserve the land which is home to a diverse ecosystem and indigenous tribes.
Santos took to Twitter on January 11, announcing that ”government officials are well aware of the priority in the case of Tayrona, park conservation is top priority.”
Funcionarios de este gobierno saben bien que la prioridad en el caso del parque Tayrona es la conservacion del parque por encima de todo.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) January 11, 2013
According to local media, Colombia’s head of state declared that his administration “will not allow environmental licensing” of the proposed resort known as Los Ciruelos.
The country’s Ministry of the Interior has also been reported to be speeding up the process to determine whether or not the plans are violating indigenous rights. Colombia’s Environment Minister has also expressed his concerns for the welfare of the natural area. Concerning the rights of the indigenous, the Ministry of Interior will reportedly come to a decision before the end of the week.