WHAT IS COASTAL HEALTH?
We consider coastal health as the valuation and protection of the nature that provides benefits to our operations and our communities. Yet unfortunately, those benefits are at risk. Marine environments are changing at an unprecedented rate. Anthropogenically induced global climate change and related threats such as elevated water temperature, ocean acidification, relative sea-level rise and increased frequency and intensity of hurricanes are some of the greatest threats to coastal marine ecosystems.
With nearly 40% of the world’s population living within 100 kilometers of the coast, growing populations and increasing tourism efforts are putting high pressure on coastal areas in terms of waste disposal, aquaculture, recreation and other services.
IT IS BUILT ON THREE PRINCIPLES
REGENERATIVE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
NATURE UNDER THREAT
WHY ARE COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS IMPORTANT?
Coastal ecosystems are home to many species of plants and animals and provide crucial goods and services to all their interconnected terrestrial and marine systems. Despite representing only 2% of the Earth’s surface, coastal ecosystems are among the most productive systems regarding services related to human well-being. They provide direct services in terms of food supply and livelihoods to coastal communities. These ecosystems contribute to approximately one third of the world’s population and profit sectors such as tourism and commercial fisheries, contributing billions to trillions of dollars to the global economy.
kilometers of coastal ecosystems globally
of coral reefs have been destroyed globally in the last few decades
of mangrove area has been lost or converted
INVESTING IN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
THE PROTECTION AND MANAGEMENT OF THESE ECOSYSTEMS WILL ENSURE HEALTHY COASTS WITH GREAT TOURISM ATTRACTION AND WILL SECURE THE FUTURE OF COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURES AND COMMUNITIES AS WELL AS THE GOODS AND SERVICES THEY PROVIDE TO THE GLOBAL POPULATION.
THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
It is well demonstrated that when nature thrives, it better protects our communities, businesses and vacations. Whether it be the protection of our facilities from storm surges, the provisional services such as sustainable fisheries, or the regulatory services such as active carbon sequestration, in nature, we find a multitude of solutions.
Because of the decline in coastal health, these services require investment which we expect to payout in the crises to come. To avoid excess damage from hurricanes, storms, fires, or other natural disasters, we believe an investment in nature is important for the bottomline of our business and for the wellbeing of our communities.
Iberostar is responsible for 10.6km of coastline in the Caribbean
of that coastline is protected by coral reefs
5.6 sq km
of coral reefs protect Iberostar properties
HOW WE PROMOTE COASTAL HEALTH AT IBEROSTAR
WE HAVE OUTLINED A STRATEGY FOR WORKING TOWARDS HAVING ALL ECOSYSTEMS THAT SURROUND IBEROSTAR PROPERTIES IN IMPROVING IN ECOLOGICAL HEALTH ALONGSIDE PROFITABLE TOURISM BY 2030.
Iberostar strives to create a tourism model that integrates into local economies and contributes to increased coastal protection and restoration which all underpin climate, environmental, economic and social resilience. It does so through the discovery, protection and restoration of the seagrasses, coral reefs and mangroves and other ecosystems in the places where it operates.
We commit to protect, respect and participate in existing coastal ecosystems through mechanisms such as marine protected areas (MPAs), terrestrial protected areas, or other effective area-based conservation areas (OECMS). We further commit to evaluating the capacity to create new MPAs, terrestrial protected areas, or OECMS in the places where we operate.
For coral reef ecosystems: we commit to restoring coral reefs that value first coastal protection, then restoration for increasing fish biomass (if possible, fish biomass important for local food security), and finally for biodiversity. We aim to do so while optimizing resilience to expected threats from climate change at scale in at least the locations where our operations persist reaching an upper limit of the 5.6 square kilometers of reef that surround our hotels (circa 2020).
For mangrove ecosystems: we commit to restoring mangrove ecosystems to achieve maximal carbon sequestration, increase efficiency in nutrient filtration, curate the destination, and provide outreach opportunities for our clients.
For other ecosystems, we will develop and launch strategies soon.
We commit to increasing the connection between Iberostar’s clients, employees and local community and the ocean so that they may in turn feel a greater connection to each other.
EXPLORE OUR GLOBAL INITIATIVES
Get to know our initiatives on to improve coastal health!Show Worldwide Map
End of Year 2019 – By the numbersread more
- Responsible Seafood
Seafood Annual Report 2020read more
- Responsible Tourism