Miambiente suspends use of two tourist areas in Portobelo after ecological damage
MiAmbiente reported that the measure to suspend the use of these areas will remain active to make way for a scientific study.
The Ministry of the Environment ( MiAmbiente ) suspended the use of Venas Azules (Blue Veins) and Túnel del Amor (Tunnel of Love), which constitute mangrove systems within the Portobello National Park in the province of Colón, due to ecological damage.
MiAmbiente reported that the measure was taken after conducting a study of these areas due to uncontrolled tourism when being used as a spa, anchorage area, consumption of alcoholic beverages and use of loud speakers; affecting the fragile ecosystems found within this area belonging to the marine zone and absolute reserve zone.
“As we know, Venas Azules is within a protected area and as such is managed by zoning. By allowing the entry of tourism in this area has been causing a negative impact on the fauna of the area. For example, dead starfish appeared as they were taken out of their habitat to take pictures,” said Griselda Martínez, regional director of MiAmbiente in Colón.
Martínez indicated that the measure will remain active to give space to the scientific study of the area, complying with what is dictated by Executive Decree 43 of June 16, 1999, which establishes the Territorial Ordinance of the Portobelo National Park.
The entity added that not all of the area in question falls within the suspension of use, since the coastal sites known as Playa Huertas, Puerto Francés, Playa Blanca, La Guaira, Isla Grande and Juan Gallego are still open to the public.
MiAmbiente called on citizens and tourism service providers to comply with good practices and good use of the Portobelo National Park protected area.