A multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
by CONANP Mexico
National Commission of Natural Protected Areas
Increasing the resilience of alternative local ecosystems that can provide habitats to lobster speciesA multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
Thinking “out of the sector”: Intelligently targeted payments for key actorsA multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
Increasing the adaptive capacity of local community fishing businessesA multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
Increasing markets for local sustainable products from the mangrovesA multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
Realizing the entrepreneurial capacities in local housewives for adaptation to climate changeA multi-actor alliance to reduce the risks of cascading hazards in Sian Ka'an.
The Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an, is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in Mexico. It is inhabited by fishing and agricultural communities. The reserve is constantly under the pressure from touristic and real estate development activities. Maintaining the geographical integrity of the reserve, and thus the benefits to locals and visitors alike, is a long-term challenge that CONANP and other partner organizations are dedicated to addressing. In terms of climate hazards, both ecosystems and local communities face cascading risks. An example is the increasing strength of tropical storms that, apart from causing damage to property and people, is causing the erosion of sand banks, which in turn damages some of the habitats necessary for lobster lifecycles. Ecosystem services provided by mangroves in the area have been weakened due to previous storms, infrastructure development and by problems of salinisation. Reducing this cascade of risks, has required innovative alliances across multiple sectors. CONANP has collaborated closely with local civil society and academia.They have created an evidence-based strategy for reducing the salinity of the mangrove system by building channels under the road that reconnected freshwater-saltwater fluxes. This was only the first step in rehabilitating the mangroves. CONANP has also promoted natural regrowth. It has built “tarquinas” – little islands of sediment entrapped in netting – that permit the growth of new mangrove trees. Corridors were then excavated to augment the natural flow of nutrients and water between the existing parts of the mangrove system. Rubbish collecting has also been carried out. Reducing vulnerability and increasing adaptive capacity has been pivotal in these efforts. CONANP employed agricultural communities to support the rehabilitation activities in the mangroves. This supports their economic wellbeing and contributes to increase their resilience to climate-change induced precipitation and harvest losses. It also reduces the pressure of extractive activities on local resources that would otherwise have occurred as a result of communities’ attempts to counter losses in harvests. For the fishing communities, CONANP supported the diversification of activities to increase their capacity to adapt to the potential reduction of lobster populations. Training, certification and mentoring has been provided. Local women are being organized and trained to manage eco-tourism businesses.