Posts Tagged ‘mexico’

CONANP and Sustainable Travel International sign partnership agreement

Sustainable Travel International forms partnership with Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) to protect the Mesoamerican Reef

The new partnership will harness the power of tourism to conserve the world’s second largest reef system

CANCUN (25 June, 2019) – Today, Mexico’s National Protected Area Commission (CONANP) entered into a strategic partnership with Sustainable Travel International, a global non-profit organization dedicated to conserving the planet’s most vulnerable destinations. The partnership was formalized at the Sustainable and Social Tourism Summit in Cancun. Through this partnership, Sustainable Travel International and CONANP aim to transform reef conservation in the Mexican Caribbean by engaging tourists and local communities in monitoring, protecting, and creating awareness about the Mesoamerican Reef.

The Mesoamerican Reef is the world’s second largest reef system, stretching 600 miles along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This immense and biodiverse ecosystem sustains the region’s tourism industry by attracting visitors, creating jobs, and protecting coastal areas from storms. Every year, more than 12 million people travel to Mexico’s Caribbean coast, many of whom participate in reef-based activities such as diving and snorkeling. In turn, the reef supports the livelihoods of nearly 2 million people and generates $6.2 billion in annual economic returns.

While tourism provides valuable economic benefits, it also places added pressure on the Mesoamerican Reef – an ecosystem that is already in a fragile state due to climate change, unsustainable fishing, and pollution. According to the 2018 Healthy Reefs report card, over half of the reef is in poor or critical condition. In June 2018, scientists discovered a rapidly spreading coral disease outbreak, known as “Síndrome Blanco,” that is killing over 20 coral species on the reef. Approximately 30% of affected coral species have already died, some of which took hundreds of years to grow.

The new partnership between CONANP and Sustainable Travel International seeks to protect the reef’s 900+ marine species from these devastating impacts and ensure the prosperity of communities that depend on the reef. Through this collaboration, Sustainable Travel International and CONANP will devise practical and innovative solutions that harness the power of Mexico’s booming tourism industry as a vehicle for reef conservation.

One such solution that is currently being piloted in the region is Sustainable Travel International’s Natural Environment Marine Observers (NEMO) program. NEMO is a citizen-science program that empowers visitors to contribute to the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef by:

  • Raising awareness about the reef and how to conserve it;
  • Collecting monitoring data for marine scientists on reef health and threats; and
  • Funding reef conservation expeditions by a response team comprised of CONANP, Healthy Reefs Initiative, and BARCO LAB, to eradicate threats and keep the reef healthy.

Through the NEMO program, the partnership aims to reduce human impacts on the reef and ensure long-term economic opportunity for the millions of local people who depend on it. In addition to using monitoring data to take actions that reduce contamination, eradicate coral disease, and restore ecosystem balance, the partnership will prioritize ground-up education for the many young people who will shape the future of Caribbean tourism.

“Conserving a marine destination as expansive and biodiverse as the Mesoamerican Reef is no small task. We realized that there is a tremendous untapped opportunity to engage the people who are out exploring these places in protecting them,” says Paloma Zapata, CEO of Sustainable Travel International. “Through this partnership with CONANP, that’s exactly what we aspire to do – link tourism and conservation to chart a new course for the Mesoamerican Reef.”

For more information or media inquiries about this partnership or the NEMO program, contact kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org or visit SupportNEMO.com.

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Media Contact:

Kaitlyn Brajcich

Sustainable Travel International

kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org

About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving our planet’s most vulnerable destinations. We are transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people by working alongside local communities, engaging travelers and businesses in responsible practices, and strengthening destination management. Through our work, we aim to safeguard nature, combat climate change, empower communities, and tackle overtourism to preserve the integrity of destinations around the globe. To learn more visit www.sustainabletravel.org

Media Contact: kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org

About CONANP

 The Mexican National Protected Area Commission (CONANP) works to conserve the natural heritage of Mexico and the ecological processes of 182 Natural Protected Areas (ANP), bringing together conservation goals with goals to protect the well-being of local populations and visitors to these areas.

Natural Protected Areas are marine and land environments that host a great variety of living beings. Throughout 19 years of operation, CONANP has driven multiple conservation initiatives and strengthened the sustainable management of the biodiversity found in ANP’s.

7 Ways You Can Protect Nesting Sea Turtles this World Oceans Day

With its white sandy shores and expansive coral reefs, it’s no surprise that the Mexican Caribbean is a popular tourist destination. However, tourists aren’t the only visitors that frequent the region. The Mexican Caribbean is home to several important sea turtle nesting beaches. Every year, from May to October, thousands of turtles – green, hawksbill, and the occasional leatherback – return to these beaches to lay their eggs.

The World’s Inspiring Places: Sierra Gorda

The stewardship success story of Mexico’s hidden garden

Guest Contribution By Jonathan B. Tourtellot, Destination Stewardship Center. This post is part of the “The World’s Inspiring Places” blog series which showcases stories of destination stewardship success. Click here to learn more about the series and watch other videos.  

Few road cuts have a romantic name, but this one does: Puerta del Cielo—the “Doorway to Heaven.” It’s where Mexico route 120 winds upward from the dry flats north of Querétaro city, past the towering monolith of Peña de Bernal, and finally slices through the top of a forested ridge into the region called Sierra Gorda. Destination stewardship means taking care of the places we love, and Sierra Gorda leads the way in doing just that, creating a memorable destination for the types of travelers who want a friendly and genuine Mexican experience. On a week-long visit here, you can sample flavorful food and drink, explore lush and healthy natural areas, try adventures from zip lines and spelunking to hiking and rock climbing, check out beautifully maintained historic missions and village streets, and visit locally run businesses and workshops, all amid steep, eye-grabbing mountain scenery, much of it still clad in voluntarily preserved forest.

Sharing Stories of Destination Stewardship

Introducing The World’s Inspiring Places Video Series

One of the ways we can inspire change and drive transformative action is by exchanging ideas and learning from others. Great things are happening all around us, but we’re not talking about them enough. As part of our efforts, we’re dedicated to sharing stories of the different ways that people, businesses, and destination leaders are protecting nature and safeguarding human well-being in tourism destinations around the globe.