The primary objective of this study is to assess the Mexican experience in
managing coastal natural areas. The assessment is based on the categories, uses,
objectives, and political elements of Mexican protected coastal areas and governmental
efforts to develop and manage these areas. Specific problems within each protected
coastal area will not be addressed here; such an undertaking is beyond the scope of this
The second objective is to place the Mexican experience with coastal protected
areas within a global perspective. The evolution of specifically coastal-oriented
management efforts on natural protected areas in Mexico will be presented, and
compared to other nations when appropriate. Problems common to the management of
these areas worldwide as well as in Mexico will be discussed. It is intended that this
brief presentation will stimulate thought, discussion and future action in the broad
framework for management planning of protected coastal areas in Mexico.
For the sake of simplicity, the term "protected areas" will be used to signify all
existing.designations such as national and regional parks, sanctuaries, ecological and
biosphere reserves, underwater refuges, and natural monuments.
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