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News, views, and research on the human dimensions of coastal and marine environments. We look deeply into the sustainability of the blue planet - from the coasts to the deep sea and the connections between the oceans and society.
|IPCC projections for CO2 emissions|
“On Sunday 1 June 2014, an assembly of ejidatarios will vote to approve the sale of land on Holbox to the company Peninsula Maya Developments who wish to build 875 villas and condominiums, three hotels, a shopping complex, access channels and a harbour.”
“The PMD Project promotes preservation through sustainable, nature-based tourism. This concept utilizes a fraction of the land (10%) as the base for travelers and investors who want to visit Isla Holbox because of its intrinsic natural environment. This can only be accomplished applying appropriate planning and development guidelines on most or the entire island. One owner with a single vision can plan this. A sub-divided island with multiple owners who have different interests cannot.
In order to help insure that PMD property is appropriately planned to help protect all of Holbox, PMD will infuse into the Master Plan many protective measures…”
“At Peninsula Maya Developments, real estate becomes a part of the attraction of the resort. By clustering three different 50-75 room boutique hotels around a single, large ‘outdoor living room’, the three become a pivotal chapter in the story of this magical island. Each appeals to the guest seeking a specific experience – oceanic adventure, culinary arts, and wellness/life extension.”
“The three share the spectacular deck, which is organized so it serves as a dramatic entry, a signature restaurant, a pool area and a collection of quaint shops for each hotel…. They draw strength from one another and from the uniqueness of the living-room-as-a-small-village concept.”
“The outdoor living room is the social hub of the resort where guests and residents alike gather in a near-theatrical setting that reflects their cultural interests and casts them as players in a performance that unfolds each day and night. With the two and three storey high porticos of the three hotels as backdrops and palms and tropical shrubs and flowers as set pieces, this splendid stage provides a strong emotional connection to both the land and the sea. The 25,000 square foot living room…is its own destination within a destination.”
“Development will follow market demand.Future permitted phases will remain natural environments until or unless there is demand.”
In less than a week I will be on board a traditional canoe, paddling down the Usumacinta river in the Chiapas region of Mexico, as part of an interdisciplinary team which includes artists, biologists, educators, writers, documentary film-makers, a medical doctor and a social ecologist (me). Behind the voyage is an inspiring organisation called The Clipperton Project (TCP), 'an international, independent not-for-profit organisation which promotes notions of exploration around the world, especially in terms of its empowering potential for all people, wherever they find themselves, whatever their age or background.' With a strong (but not exclusive) marine focus, and addressing a range of issues from sustainability to plastic in the marine ecosystem, TCP's art-science expeditions enable people to work across personal, cultural and professional boundaries. Expeditionaries share their experiences with broader audiences in workshops and events which inspire and empower the public to explore their own surroundings, their own abilities and possibilities, and to regain a sense of wonder for this world. Live updates of the Usumacinta adventure can be found on @ClippertonTweet. Expedition highlights will also be posted on this blog in June.
'Journeys; voyages; dreams. To reach out beyond what we are, what we know. To dare, to fail. To stand among the wreckage, and imagine anew.'
Jon Bonfiglio, Director, The Clipperton Project
Fifteen of the 21 global mega cities of more than 10 million people are perched on areas of low coastal elevation.It is clear that climate change will substantially impact these coastal spaces and related ecosystems and that a mix of adaptation and mitigation measures will need to be planned in the short and long term. However, despite their critical importance coastal systems tend to be decoupled from debates on economic growth or social welfare. Much of the dialogue around coasts and climate change is centred on risk minimisation – in particular, the scenarios of what will happen under sea level rise and flooding.
Europe, in particular, is embracing the concept of a coastal economy with dedicated policy programs and initiatives.Both European legislators and their national counterparts increasingly see the economic, social and environmental advantage in investing in coastal low-carbon infrastructure across a range of scales and industries. The European Commission is building capacity through its Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP) that identifies how low-carbon maritime innovation can provide a route out of the recent economic crisis through new ideas and job creation. The IMP is supported by several marine directives, which encourage growth within environmental carrying capacity and mandate marine spatial planning across the EU.