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Cancun, Riviera Maya beach erosion study shows annual losses

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — A beach erosion study on popular destinations in Mexico has determined the amount of sand that is lost each year.

The study, which was conducted by the Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur), included Cancun and points along Riviera May and yields results that they say shows a threat to tourism.

Although there are several factors that threaten tourism and social stability, Cancún and Riviera Maya lose an average of 5.8 and 1.2 meters of annual beach, respectively. According to the study, these figures place them as the weakest destinations due to climate change.

This is the result of the Vulnerability Study and Adaptation Programs for Climatic Variability and Climate Change carried out by the Secretariat of Tourism (Sectur) that studied 10 tourist beach destinations, including Playa del Carmen and Cancun.

Jerónimo Ramos Sáenz Pardo, director of sustainable tourism management of the Ministry of Tourism, said that due to the importance of tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, resolution is a matter of urgency.

Although the results of only 10 destinations has been published, Sectur has already completed studies on 20 different Mexican beaches. They say that into 2018, there will be another five, including the two additional destinations in Quintana Roo.

The studies will be conducted in order to measure the impact of man in the deterioration of beaches as well as watershed impacts, vulnerability to hydrometeorological phenomena, rising sea levels and heat.

“It is not only about the diagnosis. You have to mind all the public policies to deal with the diagnosis, and for that, you must install a committee that already has the instrumentation of what to do and how to do it.”

“There must be representations of the municipalities, of sedetur, of the academic and environmental sectors that serve the tourist areas, “said Sáenz Pardo.

The study concludes that for adaptation to climate change and comprehensive risk management, it is essential to strengthen the capacities of municipal authorities  and to articulate policies that will help reduce the risk and increase resilience.