A new type of insurance to protect coral reefs introduced at the 2018 World Ocean Summit in Mexico earlier this month has raised hope once again for the survival of coral reefs devastated by hurricanes and bleaching due to climate change.
The Nature Conservancy and the state government of Quintana Roo in Mexico announced the creation of a Coastal Zone Management Trust to promote conservation of Caribbean coastal areas. The trust also will finance what will become the first-ever insurance policy covering a coral reef and the beach sand against the impact of hurricanes.
The Mesoamerican Reef protects the most important tourism hub in Mexico, the Riviera Maya, which receives more than 10 million tourists a year and generates US$10 billion annually.
Playa del Carmen is one of the top diving destinations in the world, where divers can experience unique sea life and dazzling underwater caverns.
Coral reefs are essential for coastal protection. Reefs help protect residents, tourists, and businesses from storm surge and sea-level rise, and a healthy coral reef can reduce 26 percent of economic losses caused by hurricanes and storms.
Funds for the trust and insurance premium will be collected as a portion of the tourism taxes and also come from other government sources.
The trust will provide benefits that will also strengthen the economic resilience of the region, encourage permanent conservation and restoration of the reef and create a scalable new market for the insurance industry.
This is an excerpt from an article first published on the Environmental News Service