WIT Press

Sustainability Diagnosis Based On Indicators For A Coastal Corridor Of The Southern Gulf Of Mexico


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






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123 - 133




1,212 kb


E. Nunez, S. Laffon, A. Alderete & R. Barreto


Indicators were used to evaluate the environmental health of ecosystems and the socioeconomics of human populations along a coastal corridor in a tropical region of the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. A traditional use of natural resources had existed in the region for hundreds of years until the last decade, when a tourist interest began. The positive and negative changes that could be experienced on the environment and human way of life motivated the present research. The main purpose was to carry out an integral sustainability diagnosis and facilitate the resulting information to the stakeholders for proper development planning. The methodology involved: i) the analysis of past and present context of the region in terms of natural resources use; ii) the selection of the suitable indicators according to context; iii) the collection of documented and field data; iv) numerical analysis to relate environmental, social and economic data sets between each other. Environmental indicators showed a relatively healthy environment with particular zones close to the towns showing human alterations and some critical habitat under threat. Residents and tourists have the perception of a good quality and quantity of natural resources and are optimistic about the change of traditional activities to tourism. Social indicators showed a relatively high cohesion among people, but there are evident problems in health, education and wellbeing in general. Economically, indicators show inequality among people and an intermediate level of poverty due to depletion and instability of the incomes from fisheries, agriculture and forestry. Despite that, the change from traditional activities to tourism could represent a socioeconomic benefit, the risk of environmental disturbance exists and the long-term benefits are still uncertain. Keywords: sustainability indicators, coastal ecosystems, tourism, Mexico.


Keywords: sustainability indicators, coastal ecosystems, tourism, Mexico.