To safeguard an ecosystem that has been stressed by increased tourism in recent years, a Colombian court ordered a local authority to cap the number of people who can enter the popular Johnny Cay island, a small remote paradise off the coast of the Caribbean island San Andres.
Johnny Cay, officially known as Islote Sucre, is a short boat ride from the main island and can become overrun by tourists on busy days, leading to improper waste disposal and generally degraded natural conditions.
The site was temporary closed in May 2017 so that officials could assess the damage and remediate the the situation, but now the regulating authority of the Johnny Cay regional park, known as the Corporación Autónoma Coralina, is charged with setting the capacity and overhauling its overall environmental plan for area, which will include ongoing, periodic closures to maintain the island.
The court ruling comes following a petition from the Office of the Inspector General of Colombia that called for greater protection of this area of “ecological importance” of Colombia.
Photo: Johnny Cay (Photo credit: Mario Carvajal)