In the language of the Mayan peoples who once inhabited this region, Sian Ka'an means 'Origin of the Sky'. Located on the east coast of the Yucatán peninsula, this biosphere reserve contains tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, as well as a large marine section intersected by a barrier reef. It provides a habitat for a remarkably rich flora and a fauna comprising more than 300 species of birds, as well as a large number of the region's characteristic terrestrial vertebrates, which cohabit in the diverse environment formed by its complex hydrological system.
2017 Conservation Outlook
Current state and trend of VALUES
Overall PROTECTION and MANAGEMENT
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Description of values
Scenic beauty of mosaic of landscape elements
Fascinating variety of life forms
granted for lobster catch (Palinurus argus). A study indicates that reef-related fisheries in the Mesoamerican Caribbean Reef System, including the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo, represent a potential annual value of between US $ 150 and US $ 1,500 per hectare. In peripherical areas, Maya communities produce gum extraction and beekeeping with native bees (Melipona), in addition to traditional agriculture and forest uses. But alternative incomes generated by international programmes are unbalanced, as they disproportionately benefited a group of approximately 40 families members of the first fishers cooperative established in the area in the mid-1980s (GEF).
|№||Organization/ individuals||Project duration||Brief description of Active Projects|
|1||Centro Ecológico Sian Ka’an||A small ecotourism and education center, it serves as a model for sustainable development in sensitive tropical ecosystems. The revenue generated through tours, fishing, beautiful accommodations, and various on-site activities is used to fund conservation and education programs.|
|2||The Nature Conservancy, The Gillette Company, the United Nations Foundation and Amigos de Sian Ka’an (ASK) are working together through the International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Project (ICWRP)||Together these organizations are developing a project to protect critically important wetlands in the Sian Ka’an World Heritage site. The project is implemented by Mexican conservation organization Amigos de Sian Ka’an, which seeks to promote the protection of critical coastal habitats and ensure the viability of the region’s freshwater system by: • Implementing an easement and conservation land buyer program targeting the coastal areas of the Reserve; • Promoting the implementation of the existing land use and zoning plan with landowners and government agencies; • Enabling the acquisition of a key tract of land that strategically protects the only access to an extensive wetland system; • Mapping priority water catchment areas important to the Sian Ka’an wetlands and analyzing sources of contamination in freshwater system; • Promoting best practices for wastewater management to communities, local hotels, and property owners.|
|3||The Nature Conservancy and Amigos de Sian Ka’an (ASK)||These organizations are undertaking a project to address the growing threat of development outside the reserve, the Conservancy and ASK have engaged the private sector, working with local landowners to establish conservation easements and acquire critically threatened, privately owned lands. The Conservancy and ASK are also working with local communities in and around the reserve to promote sustainable resource use and best practices for land use and development|
|4||UNDP/GEF/SGP/COMPACT||Sian Ka'an is one of several global sites supported by a specialized programme under the GEF Small Grants Programme named COMPACT. COMPACT is implemented by UNDP and focuses on landscape approaches working with community-based organizations on the ground.|
|5||Cooperative Society of Fishing Production Cozumel||Program for the control and eradication of lionfish in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.|
|6||UNDP / CONANP||
|Optimizing the effectiveness of Protected Areas in Mexico to contribute to the conservation of endangered species|
|7||Los amigos de Sian Ka'an||Building sustainable recreational experiences in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and its surrounding areas.|
|№||Site need title||Brief description of potential site needs||Support needed for following years|
|1||N.A.||Existing efforts to coordinate and cooperate with neighboring Belize or even at the regional level to conserve and manage the shared marine and terrestrial resources deserve to be consolidated.|
|2||N.A.||The property is part of a much larger contiguous conservation complex comprised of three protected areas. This raises the question of management coherence and, possibly, the question of an extension of the existing property.|
|1||Brenner, L. (2010). Gobernanza ambiental, actores sociales y conflictos en las Áreas Naturales Protegidas mexicanas. Revista Mexicana de Sociología, 72(2): 283-310.|
|2||Brenner, L., Job, H. (2012). Challenges to Actor-oriented Environmental Governance: Examples from three Mexican Biosphere Reserves. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (Journal of Economic and Social Geography), 103(1): 1-19|
|3||Brenner, L., Vargas del Rio, D.. 2010. Gobernabilidad y gobernanza ambiental en México: la experiencia de la Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an. Polis; Investigación y Analisis Sociopolitico, Vol. 6, No. 2. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. México.|
|4||CONANP. 2014. Programa de Manejo Complejo Sian Ka’an : Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an, Reserva de la Biosfera Arrecifes de Sian Ka’an y Áreas de Protección de Flora y Fauna Uaymil.|
|5||CONPRO, 2010. Complejo Sian Ka’an, Mexico. Project by The Nature Conservancy.|
|6||Creel, Juan E. Bezaury, and The Nature Conservancy, Mexico Program. 2003. “El Uso de los Derechos de Desarrollo Transferibles, como Herramienta de Conservación en México: El caso de la Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Ka’an, Quintana Roo.|
|7||GEF. 2015. Impact evaluation of GEF support to protected areas and protected area systems. 144 pp.|
|8||Healthy Reefs for Healthy People. 2012. Report Card for the Mesoamerican Reef. An Evaluation of Ecosystem Health.|
|9||IPCC. 2014. Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability|
|10||IUCN, 1987. World Heritage Nomination --- IUCN Summary; Sian Ka”an Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.|
|11||IUCN, 2011. Preliminary ‘hot-list’ of the terrestrial biodiversity World Heritage sites most threatened by climate change.|
Jessica Brown, Thierry Lefebvre, Celia Martínez Yáñez, Michael Romero Taylor.
2015. Connecting Practice Report on the mission to Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site (Quintana Roo, Mexico). 43 pp.
|13||Juan E. Bezaury Creel. 2009. El valor de los bienes y servicios que las áreas naturales protegidas proveen a los mexicanos. The Nature Conservancy. 33 pp.|
|14||Lasch, C., Ursúa, F. 2009. Programa de Monitoreo del Plan de Conservación del Complejo Sian Ka’an, Mexico. PowerPoint Presentation to VII Congress on Protected Natural Areas of Mexico, San Luis Potosi.|
|15||MRAG Americas Inc. 2012. MSC Final Report and Determination for Sian Ka’an and Banco Cninchorro Biosphere Reserves Spiny Lobster Fishery.|
|16||NOAA, 2012. Lionfish Fact Sheet. http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/pdf/best_management_practices/f…|
|17||Talbot, F. and C. Wilkinson. 2001. Coral Reefs, Mangroves and Seagrasses: A sourcebook for managers. Australian Institute of Marine Sciences, Townsville, Australia. Citado en: UNEP-WCMC. 2006. In the Frontline: Shoreline protection and Other Ecosystem Services from Mangroves and Coral Reefs. United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Cambridge, UK, 33 pp.|
|18||The Nature Conservancy (TNC), 1999. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Parks in Peril site description.|
|19||Velez Laris, M. 2012. The Inherent Complexity of Collaboration: Fisher’s Perceptions of the Implementation of Community-Based No-Take Zones in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. MSc Thesis. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor.|