I have worked at Amigos de Sian Ka’an since the beginning of 2012. I am the leader of the Marine Conservation and Climate Change Program at Amigos de Sian Ka’an. Amigos de Sian Ka´an is a non-profit organization that was founded in June of 1986 with the primary purpose of promoting, leading and supporting actions to preserve the natural and cultural resources of Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico and the surround areas, by working with local communities and the government. Now, Amigos de Sian Ka’an has extended its work to all the Quintana Roo Estate and has become the leading conservation organization in the area.
My responsibilities include coordinating specific projects related with marine resources and coastal management, and projects with a climate change focus. My Program has three main divisions: Research, Management and Monitoring. The active projects I am currently executing during 2013 are:
- A WWF-Fundacion Carlos Slim funded project that will produce the Greenhouse Gases Inventory for Tourism Industry at Quintana Roo, then main touristic destination in México. Along with the inventory, Mitigation and Adaptation strategies were proposed to Local Government, so they can apply them as part of their strategic plan for next years. This project includes the design of an underground water function model from karstic system that will include all available information in different layers so we can identify, with the support of experts, specific areas that if protected, will ensure the freshwater supply for the years to come. The main results will be the establishment of mitigation and adaptation to climate change measures on tourism sector and the GIS including all the available information on freshwater to identify the best areas to be declared as natural reserves.
- A The Nature Conservancy funded project that will continue with the proposal of “no fishing” zones for fisheries conservation. This project is executed in coordination of the Kanan Kay Alliance, a multisectorial initiative that promotes the designation of “No Fishing” zones, so the fish population can recover and replenish fishing areas. The first generation of No Fishing zones is already established in a GIS, and this project will analyze all the biological, ecological and socioeconomic data regarding the area to complement the already included information and create a GIS that will allow us determine the best areas for the second generation on No Fishing zones. The goal is to protect 20% of the territorial sea at Quintana Roo by 2020.
- An Ocean Fund funded project that includes the installation of temperature sensors along the coast of Quintana Roo so in-situ measurements can be compared with satellite ones (information generated by the CONABIO, “Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad de México”). These results will be correlated with weather information and coral reef ecological condition, in order to know in advance if a coral bleaching is expected at certain temperatures.
- A FMCN (Mexican Fund for Nature Conservation) for evaluating the population status of fish species used on sport fishing inside Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, one of the best places on the world for fly-fishing.
- Along with the Neuchatel University, we will trace some of the underground rivers on the Estate, and will measure water quality on springs at the sea.
- Amigos de Sian Ka’an has proposed a marine ORDENAMIENTO for the Playa del Carmen’s shore on 2011 and the local government has established it, and during 2013 we will follow up its application with users.
- Amigos de Sian Ka’an has the longest record on coral reef health monitoring in the Estate, the coral reef monitoring will continue during this year and a great database that includes all the information gathered will be included in a database that will be published at CONABIO webpage.
- I represent Amigos de Sian Ka’an on the Local Technical Commission for REDD+ and the Low Carbon Tourism Initiative.