Many significant advances have been made in conservation and management of natural resources in the Mesoamerican Reef including: the creation and management of protected areas and other protection mechanisms such as fish refuges; the establishment of monitoring processes that now provide information on the health of coastal and marine ecosystems; the creation and strengthening of human capital and local organizations; and the development of tools for planning and managing protected areas and resources, to name a few. Despite these efforts, the conservation and health of the MAR ecoregion remains incomplete and there are new threats to contend with. In addition, many of these efforts require sustained financial support over time.
To consolidate and provide continuity to the advances achieved to date and to deal with the existing threats, it is critical to provide dependable funding to the stakeholders developing important work in the region. This funding may come from endowment and sinking fund sources.
Oak Foundation has been a critically important partner and funder in the Mesoamerican Reef for over 15 years. To support with this initiative, Oak Foundation gave MAR Fund under the grant proposal “Re-granting in the Mesoamerican Reef”, a provision of sinking funds to on-going initiatives for two to four additional years depending on the project.
The specific seven grantees re-granted are:
- Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) (through the Smithsonian Institution);
- Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW);
- Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI);
- Centro de Estudios Marinos (CEM);
- Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD);
- Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE);
- Southern Environmental Association (SEA).
The seven projects re granted began at different times for periods between 2-4 years, from late 2016 to the end of 2020.