Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Kids Derail $900 Million Development Project in Cancún

Climate
Kids Derail $900 Million Development Project in Cancún

Young environmentalists in Mexico have permanently suspended the development of a 69-hectare project in Cancún that would have cleared a large chunk of a mangrove forest, Quartz reports.

In September, 113 kid activists filed a lawsuit to halt construction of the $900 million project that would have paved over a mangrove-covered area for homes, shops and a promenade.

“If we cut everything down then we’re going to die,” Ana, a four-year-old plaintiff, told Quartz. “Trees help us breathe.”

On Nov. 4, a judge ruled in favor of the group of children, but said they should pay a bond of 21 million pesos (about $1.2 million) to offset the developers’ losses. The group's attorneys have argued that the bond should not apply to minors.

Mangroves—which provide food and shelter for marine life, reptiles and birds—have been devastated over the decades by the tourism industry in the popular vacation spot.

Cancún is Mexico's number one tourism destination, drawing 4.8 million visitors last year and pumping billions of dollars into the economy. For developers, it seems, tourism dollars are just more economical than saving mangroves.

Alfredo Arellano of the Commission for Protected Areas told Reuters that Mexico loses nearly 25,000 acres or 1 percent of its mangroves annually.

Not only are mangroves important for ecosystems, scientists say that mangrove forests can help slow climate change as they "suck an uncommon amount of industrial carbon out of the atmosphere and bury it deep within their underground network of roots," Reuters reported.

Residents and environmental activists have been fighting Cancún hotel and resort development ever since it became a hotspot in the 1970s.

Significantly, this is the first lawsuit filed in Mexico advocating for the collective rights of kids over corporate interests in order to protect the environment, Carla Gil, the group’s lawyer, told Quartz.

Antonella Vazquez, the mother of a 5-year-old plaintiff, told Quartz it’s important for children to raise their voices as hotels and beach resorts spread around Cancún. If her daughter doesn’t speak up, Vazquez says, “there’s going to be nothing left for her."

Children, teens and young adults around the world are doing more than their fair share for the environment.

On International Youth Day this past August, 21 kid activists from across the U.S. filed a landmark constitutional climate change lawsuit against the federal government, asserting that the government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property and has failed to protect essential public trust resources in causing climate change.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

It’s Our Generation, It’s Our Choice: Climate Justice Now

Senate to Vote on DARK Act Banning States From Requiring GMO Labels on Food

Call Congress Today: Ask Your Rep. to Vote ‘No’ on the DARK Act

Climate Change and Baseball

Hospital workers evacuate patients from the Feather River Hospital during the Camp Fire on Nov. 8, 2018 in Paradise, California. People in 128 countries have experienced an increased exposure to wildfires, a new Lancet report finds. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The climate crisis already has a death toll, and it will get worse if we don't act to reduce emissions.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Workers harvest asparagus in a field by the Niederaussem lignite coal power plant in Cologne, Germany. Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning are reaching new highs. Henning Kaiser / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Stuart Braun

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the dire threat of climate change Wednesday in a speech on the state of the planet delivered at Columbia University in New York.

Read More Show Less

Trending

The miserable ones: Young broiler chickens at a feeder. The poor treatment of the chickens within its supply chain has made Tyson the target of public campaigns urging the company to make meaningful changes. U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

By David Coman-Hidy

The actions of the U.S. meat industry throughout the pandemic have brought to light the true corruption and waste that are inherent within our food system. Despite a new wave of rising COVID-19 cases, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently submitted a proposal to further increase "the maximum slaughter line speed by 25 percent," which was already far too fast and highly dangerous. It has been made evident that the industry will exploit its workers and animals all to boost its profit.

Read More Show Less
Altamira, state of Para, north of Brazil on Sept. 1, 2019. Amazon rainforest destruction surged between August 2019 and July 2020, Brazil's space agency reported. Gustavo Basso / NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to Brazil's space agency (Inpe), deforestation in the Amazon rainforest has surged to its highest level since 2008, the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres speaks during a press briefing at United Nations Headquarters on February 4, 2020 in New York City. Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

"The state of the planet is broken. Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal."

That's how United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres began a Wednesday address at Columbia University, in which he reflected on the past 11 months of extreme weather and challenged world leaders to use the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic as an opportunity to construct a better world free from destructive greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More Show Less