From a geographical and an ecological view Mexico should be a coast-oriented nation. It has 11,122km of mainland coastline in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans as well as rich marine resources and biodiversity. However, in the past, Mexico did not show great interest in its coasts – the majority of the population lives in cities in non-coastal states and economic activities focus on inland agriculture, mining, lumbering and livestock. This tendency began to weaken 40 years ago. The government and the private sector are promoting coastal resource exploitation. Productive coastal activities like fishing, offshore oil extraction, seabed mining and tourism are important for the country’s economy. However, environmental degradation that accompanies these activities, especially because of poor governance, have fostered the involvememnt of environmental non-governmental organisations and organised coastal communities to halt the destruction of signi8ficant coastal resources including surfing zones.
WILDCOAST projects that have been successful in preventing degradation of surfing zones in coastal wildlands include direct land acquisition, public land-use zoning and shoreline conservation concessions. Other threats to surfing zones include pollution from oil-spills, agricultural runoff, wastewater and solid waste mismanagement and unsustainable tourism and real estate development. To tackle these threats WILDCOAST has been involved in advocacy, community capacity building and outreach and environmental awareness campaigns to protect important surfing zones such as the Huatulco-Salina Cruz corridor in Oaxaca; the Todos Santos Bay in Baja Califonria, Baja’s East Cape, and remote locations along the Pacific coast of the Baja California Peninsula.
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About the speaker
Born in Mexico City, Eduardo Najera’s first encounter with surfing was in Ensenada, Baja California, in 1997. He became a body boarder after his first surfboard got smashed against the rocks in large winter waves.
As a biologist and conservationist Eduardo has had the opportunity to travel, do science, promote conservation and surf all along the Mexican Pacific and around the New Zealand archipelago.
Today Eduardo oversees WILDCOAST’s conservation programs and operations in Mexico (COSTASALVAJE), from their office in Ensenada. He has experience in natural resource management as an academic, government and private consultant, and in the non-profit environmental sector.
He has worked in the deep-sea of the Gulf of Mexico, coral reefs in the Mexican Caribbean, tree-fern forests in New Zealand and coastal lagoons on the Baja California Peninsula.
Eduardo is an experienced SCUBA diver and field scientist.