Dialogues for the Estuary Begin on November 8th

Miguel González Guerra,
Tribuna de la Bahía
Translation by Neil Gerlowski

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco – With the announcement, “We want to hear your voice and invite you to participate and build together the best course for the estuary,” a call to the community has been shared to begin dialogues about Puerto Vallarta’s natural protected area of paramount ecological and conservation importance, El Estero El Salado. Celia Andrea Ramírez Aréchiga, Liaison for the State of Jalisco’s Secretariat of Planning and Citizen Participation, visited Puerto Vallarta last week to finalize details for the first stage of public input and surveys. This public input is intended to define the as-of-yet unnamed project that Governor Enrique Alfaro announced would be developed in what specialists call “the lung and kidney of Vallarta.”
The dialogues are scheduled as follows:
– November 8, 16:30 – 20:00
Preparatoria Colegio Cultural de Puerto Vallarta
– November 9, 10:00 – 13:30
Auditorium of the UNIVA
– November 15, 10:00 – 13:30
Los Mangos Library
– November 16, 10:00 – 13:30
Crocodile Aquarium of the Estero El Salado
– November 22, 11:00 – 14:30
3rd floor meeting room of the UMA

All interested in this topic are invited: academics, citizens and other local residents, and neighbors of the estuary who are encouraged to express their concerns and form a basis from which they can make well-informed decisions.

Dialogues will be coordinated by the Puerto Vallarta’s City Hall, the Government of the State of Jalisco, and the University of Guadalajara, who have defined the methodology of these sessions with the participation of the State Secretariat of the Environment and Territorial Development in collaboration with the Regional Strategic Projects Agency.

Each session will include the following: registration, initial activities, a plenary session, note-taking, moderation, and reporting. Supporting materials will be provided for participants to communicate graphically as well. Information gathered will be systematized and the results will be shared among participants.

The information gathered at these sessions will be used to prepare surveys that will be conducted at the end of November or beginning of December. These surveys will be both online and face-to-face, with a scientific and transparent methodology.

The state official asked for the benefit of the doubt that she and her colleagues will be looking for diversity at the work tables, at which she said it will be important to ensure that everyone can hear each other, “We also don’t expect these to be forums of 300 people, because we could not hear each other, nor would the conversation flow to systematize the information.” They are hoping for an attendance of at least 30 people per event.

Celia Ramírez reiterated the invitation of open participation, assuring that there is still a project, of which the governor presented about a couple of months ago, yet clarifying that this was intended as a conceptual proposal, but the idea is to consult the citizenry for them to decide. “With the results [of these sessions] which we are going to present and deliver, and with the process that is going to be followed… this will provide us the benefit of demonstration with facts; we are not just simulating a process just to validate something. It is really a process of deep work,” and she stressed that all results will be transparent.

An informative page has been created, through which those interested may register for the dialogue(s) they would like to attend. The link is: https://gobjal.mx/EsteroElSalado. There will also be public postings and other news disseminated about these sessions.