Brainstorming to strengthen resilience in communities and coastal and marine protected areas in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR)
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us by surprise. It has brought us pain, uncertainty, fear and the knowledge that we were not prepared for something like this. Jobs and income have been lost; it is hard to purchase food, cover medical costs and pay other bills, such as utilities. Social distancing, as a measure to reduce transmission and not oversaturate the health systems of our countries, together with heightened cleanliness and hygiene measures, are the new standard.
Although we are still learning to navigate this situation and do not know when it will end or what possible permanent changes it will bring, we know that we must be better prepared for future incidents. We must be aware of the prevailing need to strengthen the resilience of our communities and of the coastal and marine protected areas of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) to be in the capacity to face other possible events and come out unscathed or with the least possible impact.
Now, in the midst of this pandemic, we want to invite you, our readers, partners, strategic allies, members of the coastal communities and personnel from protected areas, to participate in brainstorming ideas that could suggest measures –small, medium and large— that we can all begin to consider to strengthen our resilience to future events. In other words, what actions can we take now that will help us to be better prepared in a similar circumstance, when access to funding or mobility is not easy? We have set up the Mailbox: “Brainstorming to strengthen resilience in communities and coastal and marine protected areas in the MAR” as a repository to gather your thoughts.
This space for dialogue will be open for two months. We want to hear from you and we commit to compile your ideas and recommendations and to share them more widely across region. The MAR is recognized for operating in an integrated, regional manner. This is another opportunity to exchange experiences, ideas, and suggestions that can be useful to others in the region. Thanks in advance for your participation and contributions.