Land2Coast is an interdisciplinary investigation focused on understanding how good governance can foster effective integrated land and coastal zone management in Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Funded by the British Academy, under the Global Challenges Research Fund Sustainable Development Programme, the project is a collaboration between the Sustainable Places Research Institute and multiple partners in the UK, Mexico and Sweden.
Land uses such as agriculture, forestry, and mineral extraction, as well as coastal and urban development all impact on marine and coastal environments. In Quintana Roo, Mexico, unique karstic geology means that this influence is even more pronounced. Often untreated, wastewater from land use enters underwater rivers (cenotes) that discharge directly into seagrass meadows, coral reefs, and the open ocean. The degradation of the undersea environment caused by poorly or untreated wastewater is a threat to jobs (e.g. marine tourism) and food security for those who rely on seafood for income or consumption.
This project seeks to understand how to incorporate sea- and land-borne impacts in coastal zone management, examining the ways in which land use policies, land use change, coastal zone food security and marine conservation are fragmented and institutionally uncoordinated. Working with our international partners, we will bring together key actors in Mexican water, land use, and marine governance, as well as the stakeholders who directly derive their livelihoods and nutrition from the land (e.g. forestry workers, farmers, developers) and coast (e.g. fishers, marine tourism workers).
Combining approaches from the social and natural sciences, we will assess environmental governance, as well as of past and future ecological, social, and cultural change as a result of land use change. Our goal is to propose a conceptual framework for integrating land use policy with coastal zone management to improve the livelihoods of the local population in Quintana Roo.