A report from The Yucatan Times.
During the next six months, Cancun will play host to two international environmental conferences drawing representatives from around Mexico and countries throughout the western hemisphere.
The four-week-long Festival of the Oceans of the Mexican Caribbean is scheduled to kick off May 14 and close June 11, with sessions in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos.
Rodrigo Constandse, organizer of the Festival, said impetus for the conference came at the initiative of businessmen and residents of Cancun, led by Delphinus, and will be held for the fifth year from 14 May to 11 June, featuring special events for World Oceans Day June 8.
For four weeks, Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen will host the meeting, which seeks to sensitize the local population and visitors about the importance of preservation and rational use of resources offered by the oceans, through art, recreation, academia and gastronomy.
The event includes cleanup activities at the Isla Contoy National Park and mangroves in Puerto Morelos. Cleanup volunteers can register at http://www.festivaldelosoceanos.com.mx.
Activities will include the opening of the sea turtle display at the Interactive Aquarium in Plaza La Isla, a free regatta and sailing clinic, and a gastronomic competition.
A group of specialists will offer a lecture series, and for the closing there will be a concert with the Esperanza Azteca Youth Orchestra.
“The festival has evolved organically, with team effort and push by Delphinus and companies that have joined,” says Rodrigo Constandse.
Since its founding the festival has grown from 300 to 1,500 participants and 10 days to four weeks.
The activities are chosen according to the main issues: global warming, invasive alien species, overfishing and pollution. “Those are the four areas that we have identified and on which sections are held to raise awareness, because they are attacking the oceans,” he adds.
UN Conference on Biodiversity
Meanwhile, preparations are already underway for a United Nations conference on Biodiversity scheduled for December in Cancun. The head of Mexico’s environmental protection agency Semarnat, Rafael Pacchiano Alaman, met with representatives of the diplomatic corps of Latin America and the Caribbean that will attend the 13th Conference of the Parties on Biodiversity (COP13).
At this international meeting, to be held in December in Cancun, the hemisphere’s nations will formulate the position of the region towards the meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
In a working session, the federal official noted that the region has a greater biological diversity of the planet and stressed the importance of integrating the subject into public policies of the productive sectors and strengthen partnerships.
He noted that the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity should be a priority in that area and shared the results of the twentieth Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
The event was also attended by Miguel Ruiz Cabanas, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of the Foreign Ministry; Jorge Carlos Hurtado Valdez, Principal Officer, and Juan Antonio Mateos, National Coordinator, of the COP13.
The ambassadors shared their opinions, reiterating the commitment to regional cooperation to build efficient agreements.