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Coastal development: construction of a public policy for the shores and seas of Mexico
Azuz-Adeath, I.; Le Bail, M.; Cortés Ruiz, A. (2019). Coastal development: construction of a public policy for the shores and seas of Mexico, in: Krishnamurthy, R.R. et al. Coastal Management: Global Challenges and Innovations. pp. 21-38.
In: Krishnamurthy, R.R. et al. (Ed.) (2019). Coastal Management: Global Challenges and Innovations. Academic Press: [s.l.]. ISBN 978-0-12-810473-6. 546 pp., more

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Author keywords
    Coastal development; Coastal management and planning; Coastal models; Public policies; Mexico

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  • Azuz-Adeath, I.
  • Le Bail, M.
  • Cortés Ruiz, A.

    Clearly stated during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in chapter 17 of “Agenda 21” and reinforced recently in the new Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the United Nations Development Program, oceans, seas, coast, and marine resources need to be properly managed for the future. Mexico possesses 11,122 km of coastline, shared among 17 coastal states with a total population of 55.4 million people (46% of the Mexican total population). The gross domestic product (GDP) emanating from the coastal states represents 40% of the national GDP and is mainly derived from industry, commerce, and services activities. Also, Mexican beaches are internationally recognized for their natural beauty. However, massive tourism, the high rate of resort development, environmental degradation and destruction, biodiversity loss, chaotic urban growth, pollution, sectorial conflicts, and the lack of public policies and programs at the local level increase the risk and vulnerability of the coastal environment. Three independent levels of government operate in Mexico: federal, state and municipal, each one with its own responsibilities and operative limitations defined by the Mexican Constitution. At the federal, state and municipal levels, several regulations are related to coastal management. The superposition and/or lack of specific regulatory tools creates a complex and sometimes chaotic framework for the development of coastal management initiatives. In recent years, a large effort has been undertaken at the federal level to solve this critical issue by creating the National Strategy for Ecological Ordinance of Seas and Coasts (SEMARNAT, 2006a), the National Environmental Policy for the Sustainable Development of Oceans and Coasts of Mexico (SEMARNAT, 2006b) and finally, the most comprehensive and integrated framework, the National Policy for Seas and Coasts (CIMARES-SEMARNAT, 2016). Despite these efforts, Mexico still lacks a specific “coastal law” that promotes the creation, implementation, and monitoring of an Integrated Coastal Management Program. The main objective of this document is to analyze the actual coastal development model in Mexico and several models worldwide as well as their consequences and opportunities for sustainability. Grounded in an extensive interdisciplinary knowledge of public policies, public participation processes, and technical planning instruments, it proposes general action lines to address the problem of coastal management in Mexico from the integral analysis of the development observed in its coastal areas.

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