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Environment ministers are working behind the scenes in Cancun, ahead of more talks in the coming days.
The city that hosts them has witnessed rapid development amid a tourism boom.
But the rush to capitalise has been at the expense of the environment.
Cancun used to be a natural barrier island, but its sand dunes and mangroves, nature's buffers against the elements are now decimated.
The beaches cannot sustain themselves naturally, so powdery white sand is trucked in, at the expense of ecosystems elsewhere.
Hotels and causeways stand where a natural waterway once nourished a lagoon, the latter is now stagnant.
The city's open-air rubbish dump encroaches on the rainforest, several hundred hectares of which have already succumbed to Cancun's expansive development.
Al Jazeera's Craig Mauro reports from Cancun, Mexico.