Yep, the children are our future. And luckily, many of them are keyed in to the importance of protecting natural resources. After two decades of failures by adult environmentalists, a group of kids has successfully blocked a massive real estate development project in Cancún, one of Mexico’s premiere resort destinations. The plan called for the leveling of dozens of acres of mangrove forest and destroying the habitat of countless crocodiles and other animals. Although the project has been halted for now, it’s uncertain whether the order will hold, as the judge on the case has some unusual expectations for the young environmentalists.
In a strange series of events, the kid environmentalists ended up in court against the real estate developer. Although the judge ruled last week in favor of the children, approving a request to permanently suspend the 170-acre mixed-use project which is reportedly worth $900 million. However, the judgment didn’t stop there. The judge also ordered the children to pay a bond of 21 million pesos (about $1.2 million) to offset developers’ losses. Attorneys for the child environmentalists argue that the bond should not apply to minors.
The project is backed by Mexico’s tourism development agency, and local environmentalists have been fighting it since the project began more than two decades ago. The judge’s decision last week represents the first win for local residents in their fight against the development’s environmental destruction. A group of 113 children of local environmental activists filed a complaint in September that the development was infringing on their constitutional right to a healthy environment. The strategy was inspired by a similar case earlier this year in the United States, when a group of children filed a case using a similar claim to demand action from the Obama administration to combat climate change.