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Assessing Nature-Based Coastal Protection against Disasters Derived from Extreme Hydrometeorological Events in Mexico

1
Red de Ambiente y Sustentabilidad, Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Xalapa 91070, Veracruz, Mexico
2
Red de Ecología Funcional, Instituto de Ecología, A.C., Xalapa 91070, Veracruz, Mexico
3
Instituto de Geografía, UNAM, Ciudad de México 04510, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051317
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 17 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract

Natural ecosystems are expected to reduce the damaging effects of extreme hydrometeorological effects. We tested this prediction for Mexico by performing regression models, with two dependent variables: the occurrence of deaths and economic damages, at a state and municipality levels. For each location, the explanatory variables were the Mexican social vulnerability index (which includes socioeconomic aspects, local capacity to prevent and respond to an emergency, and the perception of risk) and land use cover considering different vegetation types. We used the hydrometeorological events that have affected Mexico from 1970 to 2011. Our findings reveal that: (a) hydrometeorological events affect both coastal and inland states, although damages are greater on the coast; (b) the protective role of natural ecosystems only was clear at a municipality level: the presence of mangroves, tropical dry forest and tropical rainforest was related to a significant reduction in the occurrence of casualties. Social vulnerability was positively correlated with the occurrence of deaths. Natural ecosystems, both typically coastal (mangroves) and terrestrial (tropical forests, which are located on the mountain ranges close to the coast) function for storm protection. Thus, their conservation and restoration are effective and sustainable strategies that will help protect and develop the increasingly urbanized coasts. View Full-Text
Keywords: nature-based coastal protection; extreme hydrometeorological events; tropical cyclones; economic damage; casualties; Mexico; coast; sustainable coasts nature-based coastal protection; extreme hydrometeorological events; tropical cyclones; economic damage; casualties; Mexico; coast; sustainable coasts
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Pérez-Maqueo, O.; Martínez, M.L.; Sánchez-Barradas, F.C.; Kolb, M. Assessing Nature-Based Coastal Protection against Disasters Derived from Extreme Hydrometeorological Events in Mexico. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1317.

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