The organization notes that globally, 60% of these natural habitats face direct threats.
COZUMEL(Times Media Mexico).- The UNESCO office in Mexico joins efforts to guide and enhance the conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR), a region where the reefs of the island of Cozumel reside.
The representative of UNESCO Mexico, Frédéric Vacheron, commented that globally, 60 percent of coral reefs face direct threats, iincluding the desease known as “coral bleaching”, due to temperature changes, as well as ocean acidification that damages more than 90 percent of the reefs worldwide.
Globally, more than a quarter of all coral reefs have depleted over the last 30 years due to mass bleaching. This has already affected 500 million people who depend on these reefs for “food, income, coastal protection, and more,” according to NOAA.
He said there are currently nearly 30 sites on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List and 44 Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserves that are linked to a coral reef ecosystem.
In the 6th edition of the event called Scuba Fest, the Organization signed a partnership agreement with the municipality of Cozumel that aims to be an effective tool to help conserve the reefs.
In addition, it aims to promote the cultural rights of the island’s residents, creative industries and cultural tourism in this destination which, according to recent data, receives about 8.5 million tourists annually.
“These natural habitats are home to 25 percent of marine life and feed millions of people, they aid in the discovery of new pharmaceuticals and also provide jobs in tourism and the fishing industry,” he said.
These actions taken by the federal government mean greater protection for the area, following the announcement of the partial and temporary suspension of tourism and recreational activities in a southern portion of the Cozumel Reefs National Park (PNAC).
The Yucatan Times