Conservation of Marine Resources in Central America Project

Project Phase II

Progress in each protected area.

IBANQROO installed 45 informative signs at strategic points within the protected area, prioritizing the sites of ecosystem importance. The signs include a map that shows the location within the area and a list of the activities that are allowed or prohibited.

 

 

Signs located in different points of the Reserve.  Photo: IBANQROO

 

With the purpose of signaling and providing information to visitors at the Marine Mammal Care and Rehabilitation Center (CARMA, in Spanish), IBANQROO installed  signs and infographics that illustrate the Reserve’s characteristics and highlight the manatee as a flag species.

 

 

 

Signs and infographics installed in CARMA facilities. Photo: IBANQROO

 

 

Four small community projects were implemented, derived from the Reserve’s Community Development Strategy:

  1. Community dining room La Lupita:  a 12×5 m Palapa was built, along with two ecological bathrooms with a bio-digester system, one ecological stove, and the installation of a grease and soap water trap system.
  1. Community dining room Pez de oro: three ecological bathrooms with a bio-digester system were built, one of the bathrooms was a contribution of the community group. A grease and soap water trap system was also installed.

 

A guide for best practices and solid waste management in the kitchen was developed for both projects.  Five best practices posters were installed in each dining room to inform visitors about their best environmental practices and technologies implemented, as well as attractive sites of the reserve.

  1. The ecotourism group Tuunich Ha was trained on the use and maintenance of dry bathrooms, and a user’s manual was developed for this type of service. They were also equipped with eight life jackets for their boat and gear for recreational activities (eight fishing rods and eight sets of snorkeling gear). This equipment will be used as part of the tour packages that will be promoted in 2020.
  2. The ecotourism group Yaalcab Ha was equipped with a 23 feet boat and engine, as well as safety equipment and a first aid kit. The group was supported in the necessary procedures to regulate the boat and a guide to publicize tourist sites in the Reserve was developed.

 

These two ecotourism groups were trained in environmental interpretation and ecosystems of the Reserve. They also exchanged experiences with the community groups of Bacalar and Xcalak to learn about community organization, visitor service, market options and financial sustainability.

 

La Lupita ecological stove. Photo: IBANQROO

 

Tuunich Ha safety equipment.  Photo: IBANQROO

 

Yaalcab Ha boat and engine.  Photo: IBANQROO

 

Pez de oro grease trap system and soapy waters.  Photo: IBANQROO

Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD), acquired the spectrophotometer, pyrex filtration flask, and oil free vacuum pump with all the required accessories, to be able to continue with the contamination sampling for water quality monitoring.

 

Water Quality monitoring equipment photo SACD.  Photo: SACD

SACD developed the consultations and socialization of the Management Plan, which was delivered to the Forest Department for approval

 

Management Plan consultation meeting.  Photo: SACD

As part of the research and monitoring program, SACD developed the water quality monitoring, in Corozal Bay, for the rainy season, following ECOSUR protocols.

SACD staff and community researchers developing water quality monitoring photo. Photo: SACD

As part of the research and monitoring program, SACD developed the water quality monitoring in Corozal Bay, for the rainy season, following ECOSUR protocols.

 

In line with the financial mobilization plan and with matching funds, SACD has registered their business arm under “SACD Green Ltd”. Under the business SACD assisted the piloting of three Pesca Tours expedition of an average of 15 people each.

 

Pesca Tours developing a pilot tour with SACD. Photo: SACD

To strengthen the area managers, the BFD acquired equipment for the office the ministry will provide the department in Dangriga.

 

Office equipment. Photo: BFD

 

To strengthen the community/associations, the Advisory Committee held a meeting during which they discussed: rezoning of the conservation zone boundaries, enforcement activities, among others.

The Management Plan was finished and it was given to the consortium Fundación para el Eco Desarrollo y la Conservación – Asociación Amantes de la Tierra (FUNDAECO-AAT) for them to deliver it to the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP) for approval.

 

FUNDAECO-AAT continues to provide technical support to the 58 families beneficiaries of the agroforestry systems project from Sarstún Creek (29 families), Nuevo Nacimiento Cáliz (9 families), Siete Altares (8 families) and Barra Tatín (12 families).

 

As a follow up on the productive activities supported, the tourism Committee Asociación de Autogestión Turística Barra Cocolí (AUTBAC) is fully operational and provides touristic services which are already generating alternate income for the community.

 

Community Tourism at Cocolí. Photo: MAR Fund

As part of the strengthening of local communities, BICA Utila implemented the project “Weaving Dreams with the Network of Artisan Women of Utila”. This project is a local initiative of enterprising women of the island, seeking to develop their skills and undertake business initiatives that provide environmentally friendly products and create economic resources for them and their families.

 

Six women from the island participated in this project, and learned about cutting and sewing, finance and accounting management, conflict resolution, teamwork, decoration and painting, among other topics.

 

The six participants also learned to make jewelry with lionfish derivatives and in a month, they managed to make 86 reusable bags with reusable materials. They also participated in a bazaar, which allowed them to socialize their project and publicize their products.

 

Weaving Dreams with the Network of Artisan Women of Utila

Photos: BICA Utila

 

The Belize Marine Fund´s grants

The BMF currently has a portfolio of 13 active grants awarded between the periods of May 2017 – May 2018. These grants were awarded through the two programmatic windows for advancing investments 1) the Targeted Grants Program and 2) the Small Grants Program. The projects supported by these programs have been guided by priority areas of focus which were established with the BMF Steering Committee. Some of these priority areas include: efforts related to the expansion, management, monitoring, control and surveillance operations of no-takes; marine conservation policy; efforts related to managed access national roll-out, and improving management effectiveness of MPAs; strengthening the institutional capacity of marine conservation civil society organizations; climate change resilience, blue carbon and the blue economy; protection and restoration of fragile and degraded ecosystems; promotion of sustainable income-generation for local communities; and broad-based attitudinal and behavioral change for enhanced and effective marine resources management. Small grants are for a maximum of USD 30k and Targeted grants are for a maximum of USD 45k.

 

Below we provide a summary of project progress to date.


Targeted Grant Awards:

 


In sustaining its efforts at creating a community of stakeholders that comply and advocate for policies that protect their livelihoods, BAS conducted an additional six boat to boat sessions, engaging approximately 150 fishermen. The organization also hosted two Managed Access Committee Meetings to vet new applicants interested in fishing in Area 7, and trained 25 fishing vessels, Captain and crew in best practices. Each respective fishing vessel received a scale and caliper to measure and estimate size and weight limits and used information to complete MA logbooks.

 

Boat to Boat session Issuance of best practices guidelines to fishers. Photo: BAS

 

The organization also collaborated with the Belize Coast Guard to establish a permanent presence on Northern and Sandbore Caye to combat illegal fishing and drug trade. This has assisted BAS with the deterrence of illegal fishing at the spawning aggregation site. Additionally, BAS has trained its Rangers in Fisheries Enforcement/Managed Access protocols,and has sustained joint enforcement operation within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. During this reporting period 20-night patrols were conducted, which resulted in the arrests of six fishers caught fishing within Half Moon Caye Natural Monument.

1 of 6 arrest made during this reporting period. One fisherman caught fishing on December 4th, 2019, at 1:50 am within Half Moon Caye Natural Monument. Photo: BAS

 

Additionally, BAS continued its efforts at improving the quality of fisheries dependent data to complement fisheries independent data, to better understand changes in stock abundance of commercially important species within Lighthouse Reef Atoll (LHRA). During this reporting period, BAS has 1) conducted catch per unit effort (CPUE) surveys; 2) trained 10 fishers on the use of a digital data collection app for CPUE using Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART); and 3) conducted independent data collection for conch using the Long-Term Atoll Monitoring Protocol (LAMP).

WWF continues its efforts at 1) conducting climate change resilience analysis for prioritized MPAs in Belize that addresses ecological, weather and socioeconomic variables; and 2) providing a series of resilience solutions  based on the results of these analysis, for the prioritized MPAs and their stakeholders, for implementation to improve management. The organization has experienced some delays in the finalization of data collection critical for completion of the resilience analysis, due to the required time and scheduling constraints of key partners. However, WWF anticipates that this work should be completed by January 30th, 2020.


Small Grant Awards:

 


Southern Environmental Association (SEA):
Increasing the effectiveness of Sustainable Marine Resource Use and Management in SEA Co-managed Protected Areas.

 

SEA has now completed the procurement of all the necessary equipment for installation of boundary demarcation buoys around Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve; with installation scheduled for January 18th – 21st, 2020.  The organization has also installed signs at LBCNP and Little Water Caye to educate protected areas stakeholders and resource users on protected areas regulations.

SEA’s Installation of Sign at Laughing Bird.  Photo: SEA

 

SEA’s Installation of Sign at Little Water Caye.  Photo: SEA

Engaging Stakeholders for Sustainable Fisheries Management.

 

  • A key component of WCS effort during this project was the expansion and collection of landing data at six sites across Belize. Through this effort, and with the objective to gather information that could provide recommendations for possible modifications to fishing regulations in Belize, WCS gathered data from the communities of Corozal, Caye Caulker, Belize City, Dangriga, and Placencia, Toledo (Punta Gorda).
  • An analysis of the completed data set is ongoing and will assist in identifying and quantifying the impact of the local market demand on conch, lobster, and a broad variety of fish species.

 

  • According to WCS, other intended uses of the data collected includes: length/weight analysis; examination of spatial (fishing areas) temporal patterns in species composition in each community; identification of any patterns of “fishing down the food web” as large, among others.

 

  • The organization also asserts that data collected is especially valuable as a starting point for insight on seafood consumption within local fishing communities, as there is a significant gap at the national level in the understanding of Belize’s finfish, conch, and lobster fisheries. WCS further anticipates that this initiative will begin to shed light on the characteristics of the fisheries products moving through the complement of local market chains, including sales to individuals and sales to restaurants. Allowing for the design and propose of comprehensive adaptive management measures to promote sustainable resource use.

Building capacity of fishing stakeholders for participation in marine conservation, through education, public awareness and collaboration.

 

  • In November 2019, BAS hosted a leadership workshop for the 16 participants of its Reef Protectors program. During the workshop, participants learned about the qualities of a good leader, and how they could become more actively involved and take leadership roles in their communities.
  • On December 7th, the Reef Protectors also participated in a one-day field trip to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park (BCMR/NP)—hosted by the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD). During their time in the field, the 16 students were exposed to interactive lessons on mangroves (and its role as a carbon sink), coral reefs, and the importance of BCMR/NP as a protected area.

 

Student Presenting Art Entry at the Copper Bank Mini Fair. Photo: BAS

 

Students Showing Off Prizes at Copper Bank Mini Fair. Photo: BAS

 

Winner of Art Competition Copper Bank Primary School. Photo: BAS

 

In working at creating awareness on the phasing out of single use plastics and Styrofoam, BAS, in collaboration with the Copper Bank RC school, hosted a mini fair under the theme—Plastic Phase out from North to South at the Copper Bank School on November 1st, 2019. Partners such as OCEANA and SACD also participated in the fair with educational booths. Additionally, on November 20th ,the BAS education team launched a pop-up booth at the Chunox Seven Day.

 

Pop-up Booth at Childrens Day Fair in Chunox. Photo: BAS

 

The Adventist School Children’s Day Fair engaged approximately 50 students and 60 parents and highlighted the negative impacts of single use plastics as well as introduced different best practices by which they could reduce or eliminate them in their homes and community. Additionally, on November 21st, BAS education team made classroom presentations at the Chunox RC primary school on the topic of plastic pollution and the national single use plastic phase out.

 

On November 21st  2019 , BAS made follow-up visits to outstanding food vendors in the community of Chunox who have made efforts to educate their costumers about reducing single-use plastics and also reduced  their use in their businesses; finally, on December 1st they conducted a “Community Sharing Time” to raise further awareness around the issue of single-use plastics.

 

Community Sharing Time at Chunox December 1st. 2019. Photo: BAS

Engaging Belizean youths as the next generation of conservation leaders.

 

On Thursday, November 28th 2019, Ecology Project International (EPI) held its first Youth Forum on Conservation and Climate Change for high school students. The event, hosted at the Fr. Francis Ring Parish Hall in Punta Gorda Town, saw the participation of approximately 140 students from four major high schools in southern Belize: 1) Agriculture and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI), 2) Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS) (Stann Creek District), 3) Julian Cho Technical High School (JCTHS), and 4) Toledo Community College (Toledo District).

 

EPI Marfund Youth Forum19

 

George Town Technical High School Students Attending EPI Youth Forum

Julian Cho Technical High School Students Attending EPI Youth Forum

 

The objectives of the forum were to 1) enhance awareness of climate change and conservation issues affecting protected areas management in Belize; 2) foster a connection between target schools and the key conservation NGOs that manage protected areas within the southern region of Belize, 3) exchange ideas relating to conservation, climate change, and possibilities for volunteerism and opportunities for learning within these NGOs; 4) deepen awareness about recent scientific research being conducted in protected areas in southern Belize and the value of this research in current management interventions; and 6) share projects, project plans and activities that are currently being conducted by the environmental clubs of the four high schools that participated in the forum, while building a space for collaboration and networking toward the achievement of common goals.

 

EPI MarFund Youth Forum18

Monitoring effectiveness of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve through long-term monitoring of marine megafauna.

 

As per the previous update, MarAlliance continues to work on the logistics for the field work scheduled to commence on March 18th, 2020—in line with the established project timelines for data collection. The organization has also secured the services of fishers, boats, cook staff, and has purchased equipment needed (such as GPS, spot, depth sounders, hooks and knives, SD cards, and a Dell mini desktop computer) for the field research.

 

GPS, Spot, Depth Sounder

 

Dell mini desktop computer

Knives and hooks

 

SD cards (for GoPros)

 

Paracord (for tents)

Safeguarding manatees and community livelihoods in Placencia and Belize City through research and education.

 

Sea to Shore Alliance continued in its efforts at educating Belizean youths on manatees, the marine environment and their conservation efforts through its school visits to Nazarene High School and Wesley Primary School in Belize City, and the St. John’s Memorial Anglican Primary School in Placencia—and manned an educational booth at TIDE Fest 2019. Additionally, Sea to Shore Alliance also presented on its efforts in Belize at National Geographic Kids Matinee and National Geographic Live for an audience of 300 and 400 individuals respectively; and installed manatee murals in Belize City and Seine Bight to spread awareness.

 

The organization also conducted a tour guide workshop which saw the participation of approximately 220 boat captains and tour guides from San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Participants were trained on the Wildlife Protection Act, Maritime Act and boat regulation, manatee conservation, and appropriate manatee-viewing procedures for boat captains and tour guides conducting tours at Swallow Caye. The training was hosted in collaboration with key partners including the Forest Department, and the Belize Port Authority. Sea to Shore Alliance also maintained its efforts at manatee tracking with twice monthly field tracking of tagged manatees, and monthly night joint patrols of the Placencia Lagoon with the Southern Environmental Association.

 

Sea to Shore Alliance High School Presentation. Photo: Sea2Shore

 

Sea to Shore Alliance presents to 220 boat captains and tour guides in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Photo: Sea2Shore

 

Sea to Shore Alliance presents to boat captains and tour guides in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Photo: Sea2Shore

MAR Fund Small Grants Program Request For Proposals

11th Joint Request for Proposals (2018)

Supporting and Strengthening the Management of Coastal and Marine Protected Areas in the Mesoamerican Reef

The eleventh request for proposals is currently under development. All projects have started and already present progress to date, as indicated below:

1. Cayman Crown: support conservation of the jewel of the MAR through solid science.

 

Grantee:  Fundación Mundo Azul & Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI). Guatemala.

 

Progress to date:

  • Specialized equipment for the project was purchased (1 TidbiT v2 Water Temperature Data Logger, 1 HOBO Bluetooth Low Energy pH and Temperature Data Logger, 1 Optic USB Base Station, 1 HOBOware Pro Data Logger analysis, 3 GoPro 7 black and 1 Rite in the Rain Waterproof Copier Paper Package).
  • A field expedition to Cayman Crown was held from the 24 – 27 May, 2019. The following activities were developed:
    • Exploration of the reef for selection of monitoring sites (two reef sites were selected based on coral cover, diversity, reef rugosity and location).
    • Reef health monitoring on the two sites selected using the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) methodology. Data is being analysed.
    • Photomosaic monitoring (two photomosaics were made to evaluate species composition and cover).
    • Installation of one temperature logger (1TidbiT v2 Water Temperature Data Logger) in one site, and one pH and temperature logger (1 HOBO Bluetooth Low Energy pH and Temperature Data Logger), in the other selected site.

 

Exploration of the reef for selection of monitoring sites. Photo: HRI

2. Promotion of new productive activities and environmental education related to recycling of discarded materials for the proper management of solid waste. Phase II.

 

Grantee:  Bay Island Conservation Association (BICA). Honduras.

 

Progress to date:

 

  • Two workshops took place in April, 2019 for the revision of proposed laws for the management of solid and plastic waste aimed at informing and involving local authorities, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.
  • The board of directors of the association of “pepenadores” was installed. “Pepenadores” is how the people that collect solid waste are called.
  • Four recycling workshops were developed in four different schools. Students learned how to separate waste correctly. For this activity, pre and post evaluations of the students’ knowledge were carried out for each school. The results are being analyzed.
  • The ACROPORA 2019 race was launched on Facebook in May 2019, and was held on August 10, 2019. All activities implemented during the race promoted the reduction of the use of plastic, as well as waste separation.

Recycling workshop for students. Photo: BICA

3. Strengthening conservation leadership and community empowerment in the island of Utila, Honduras

 

Grantee:  Fundación Islas de la Bahía (FIB). Honduras.

 

Progress to date:

  • Currently eight eco-leaders are being trained.
  • A workshop was carried out on identification of fish, coral and mangrove species. During the workshop the eco-leaders observed the characteristics  and differences between species as well as their importance in the MAR.
  • In the months of May and June 2019, four beach cleanups with 91 participants were carried out, three in the Pumpkin Hill area and one in Turtle Harbour. Two of the Pumpkin Hill cleanups were carried out with a group of taxi drivers (adjusted motorcycles to drive people within the island) who volunteered to participate. BICA and the Merchant Marine supported the logistics and participated in the activity.
  • Iguanas were monitored, once per month in each monitoring site.
  • Photo traps were set up and they are being used to monitor the distribution of raccoons on the island. The raccoon is an invasive species that reproduces rapidly, representing a risk for endemic and local fauna. The objective is to develop a control and extraction plan. So far, this species has been located in Jerico, Western Path.

 

Photo trap to monitor distribution of raccoons. Photo: FIB

4. Conservation of the MAR through best sustainable tourism practices in Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve (RBBCH) and Arrecifes de Xcalak Natural Park (PNAX)-Phase II.

 

Grantee:  Amigos de Sian Ka’an A.C. (ASK). Mexico.

 

Progress to date:

 

  • Questionnaires were applied to tour operators with  permits on best practices issues, tourist badges and biosecurity. The following conclusions can be highlighted:
    • More than 80% of the tour guides are not certified as such.
    • Not being certified does not mean they don’t follow the security measures protocols.
    • All of them take care of the environment and nature, and are aware of the importance of monitoring invasive species.
    • All were interested in the training course Moderniza Ecoturístico (system for quality improvement through which tourism companies can stimulate their employees and increase their profitability and competitiveness indexes.)
  • The training course for the “M” Moderniza Ecoturístico was scheduled for February-March 2020, with the consultant and tour operators with permits.
  • The photographic exhibit “Displays of the Mesoamerican Reef” was presented at the 23rd Anniversary event of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve – RBBCH (60 attendees).
  • A solid waste collection event was carried out in Cayo Centro Island of the RBBCH with 55 participants, led by “Parley for The Oceans”.  A total of 360kg of solid waste were collected and taken to the sanitary landfill located in the mainland community of Mahahual.

 

Photo exposition. Photo: ASK

5. Mitigation of climate change and protection of Blue Carbon sinks: Valuation Phase.

 

Grantee:  Casa Wayuu, Centro de Aprendizaje para la Conservación del Medio Ambiente, A.C. Mexico

 

Progress to date:

  • The images used for the GIS analysis were defined and the sites for the restoration and conservation of the blue carbon ecosystems in the Yum Balam Flora and Fauna Protected Area (APFFYB in Spanish), were identified.
  • The field trip developed jointly with the CINVESTAV team to APFFYB took place on September 9-12. They confirmed the structure and composition of the mangrove forest in five zones identified between Holbox and Chiquilá.
  • At least 30 stakeholders from different sectors have been identified as key actors to preserve the blue carbon sinks of the APFFYB.
  • A training of the Natural Capital Project https://naturalcapitalproject.stanford.edu/who-we-are/natural-capital-project) was organized with the Stanford University via the Climate Smarting Marine Protected Areas and Coastal Management in the MAR region project (WWF) to integrate an InVEST model (Integrated Evaluation of Ecosystem and Compensation Services) for Blue Carbon in the APFFYB.
  • Four ecosystem services were identified that need to be valued (fisheries, coastal protection, ecotourism and blue carbon) and four interview formats were designed for local fishermen, local hoteliers, local communities and local tour guides).
  • In collaboration with CINVESTAV and the Mexican Carbon Program (PMC), the project “Mitigation, Adaptation, and Reduction of the Vulnerability of the Coastal Ecosystem through the Conservation and Restoration of the Mangroves of the Natural Protected Areas of Celestún, Yum Balam, Nichupté and Sian Ka´an”, was submitted and approved by the Climate Change Fund of the Mexican Federal Government for an amount of approximately US$250,000.

 

 

Project presentation. Photo: CASA WAYUU

6. Analysis of Water Quality of Yalahau Lagoon in the Yum Balam Flora and Fauna Protected Area (FFPA).

 

Grantee:  Centinelas del Agua A.C. (CDA). Mexico

 

Progress to date:

  • 30 sites were selected for water quality analysis based on different criteria (salinity gradient, proximity to contaminating sources, etc.). A monitoring plan was designed.
  • Logistics for the creation of a multidisciplinary water quality work group are in place: on August 22, 2019, a petition letter was submitted to the local director of the National Water Committee of Quintana Roo for the establishment of the Lázaro Cárdenas Watershed Committee. The organization is waiting for a positive response.
  • The project will also work on the design of the Experiential Routes “From the Watershed to the Lagoon”. Three important ecosystems within the area have been selected: the El Corchal wetland ecosystem, the millennial tree (where different types of old trees are observed, as well as a collection of orchids from the area, in Solferino) and the mangrove ecosystem and its channels in Chiquilá. Logistical support for the tours will be provided by the delegates of Solferino, bird expert Mr. Roberto Baltazar and the CONANP staff of Kantunilkin.
  • 60 Water Perception Surveys were conducted in the communities of Solferino, Holbox and Chiquilá to identify sources that generate wastewater in the APFF. According to the results, mostly hotels, tourism activities and fishing vessels generate direct pollution to bodies of water and their ecosystems.

 

 

Perception Surveys being conducted. Photo: CDA

7. Leadership Program in the Mesoamerican Reef System: building a new generation of leaders for conservation.

 

Grantee:  Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, A.C.

 

Progress to date:

  • In 2019 the leadership skills and abilities of 20 leaders, divided into six multi-sectoral teams (one from Belize, two from Guatemala, one from Honduras and two from Mexico) were strengthened. Four leaders of the group come from fishing cooperatives, 11 from civil society organizations, five from the private sector and one from government. 53% are women and 47% are men.
  • In May 2019, an on-line seminar on resource mobilization and fundraising was taught by Annette Candanedo, consultant on Institutional Development
  • The exchange visit to Cabo Pulmo (May 15-17, 2019) in Baja California, allowed 14 leaders of the 2018 generation to exchange experiences and share their projects with leaders from other regions of Mexico, and continue building relationships within the group. The trip consolidated the synergies between the leaders and their colleagues in the Gulf of California, thus maintaining the very active MAR leadership network. In total, 36 people participated.
  • The meeting of the Executive Committee of the MAR Sustainable Fisheries Network was held in Cancun on July 2-3 2019, with the objective of advancing on the consolidation of the network and promoting the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in the MAR. All these activities are strengthening the MAR-L network and the conservation work that each leader is performing.

 

 

 

2018 MAR Leadership cohort

8. Mitigation of climate change and protection of Blue Carbon sinks: Certification Phase.

 

Grantee:  Programa Mexicano del Carbono, A.C. (PMC). Mexico.

 

Progress to date:

  • CINVESTAV, as a partner in the project, sent a team to Cozumel on September 5-9, to confirm the structure and composition of the mangrove forest in six sites.
  • The systematization of information for the development of Cozumel Island carbon baseline is currently taking place.
  • The four existing certification standards (Verified Carbon Standard, Plan Vivo, Gold Standard and Climate Action Reserve) suitable for Quintana Roo were compared. The results of the comparison are being analyzed to recommend the best option for Cozumel.
  • PMC will organize and lead a dissemination forum on the importance of Coastal Blue Carbon for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The project approved by the Climate Change Fund of the Mexican Federal Government for Casa Wayúu in Yum Balam (see project 6 above) will also support this forum and the results of both projects will be presented there.

 

 

Mangroves in Cozumel. Photo: PMC

We will keep you updated on the progress and results achieved by these projects.

MAR Fund Small Grants Program Request For Proposals

12th Joint Request for Proposals (2019)

Supporting Coastal and Marine Resources Management and Protection in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR)

On August 20, 2019, MAR Fund announced the 12th joint request for proposals, again with the three finance windows.

 

Two themes were considered for the first window: 1) Monitoring and conservation of fish spawning aggregation sites (FSA) and 2) waste water and solid waste management. The first component was not restricted to protected areas. The second one was eligible for the 18 prioritized coastal and marine protected areas, as well as their areas of influence.

 

Some examples of the eligible investments for each of these components were, among others:

 

    1. FSAs
        1. Advocate for the declaration of new fish spawning aggregation (FSA) protection areas
        2. Support and maintain coordinated management and protection programs for FSAs
        3. Support and maintain coordinated surveillance and monitoring programs for FSAs

       

    2. Waste management
      1. Develop strategies to improve water and sanitation services in rural areas.
      2. Promote the creation of Watershed Committees or Councils (with the participation of federal, state and municipal governments, civil society organizations and private sector).
      3. Develop intervention models in conjunction with local and national governments and civil society organizations that can eventually become state or local government policies with a greater impact on the solution of a problem.

 

As with the 11th RfP, eligible applicants were: a) community-based organizations, including fisher groups, b) governmental institutions, c) non-governmental institutions and d) academia.

 

The deadline for submission of proposals was October 11, 2019. 23 proposals were received for the Traditional window, distributed as follows: seven from Mexico, two from Belize, seven from Guatemala and seven from Honduras. Five proposals were received for the Reef Rescue Initiative window, four from Mexico and one from Honduras. All proposals are under revision by MAR Fund.

Re-granting

in the Mesoamerican Reef

Through the implementation of the Re-granting initiative supported by Oak Foundation, seven projects have had interesting progress so far, as indicated below:

Grantee: Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • 286 sites throughout the region were monitored: in Mexico 99 sites, in Belize 101 sites, in Guatemala 10 sites and Honduras 76 sites. All data has been entered into the HRI-AGRRA online platform and analyzed. This information, as well as management recommendations, will be shared in the 2020 Report Card.

 

  • HRI team participated in several national, regional and international meetings to share its work and advances in the management and health of the Mesoamerican Reef.

 

Ian Drysdale, HRI Honduras Coordinator at 5th Latin American Sanitation Conference. Photo: HRI

 

Ana Giró, HRI Guatemala Coordinator, in a meeting organized by UNEP to develop a regional strategy for conservation and restoration of coral reefs and associated habitats in the Wider Caribbean. Photo: HRI

 

  • HRI is working closely with strategic partners within key organizations and continues to push for more conservation science and funding for management in the Cayman Crown reef and other important fish spawning aggregation areas. HRI is a partner and co-sponsor of MAR Fish, the recently awarded grant to MAR Fund from the French Fund for the Environment (FFEM, by its acronym in French).

 

  • HRI is collaborating with the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA) to enhance public awareness about the importance of protecting parrotfish. Two fact sheets have been produced to highlight why they need to be protected, as well as other herbivore fishes. The factsheets also highlight coral reef ecosystems and their current threats.

Fact sheet about parrot fish importance. Photo: AIDA and HRI.

 

  • In Mexico, HRI’s Coordinator participates actively in the Yucatán Peninsula, Solidaridad and Benito Juárez watershed and clean beaches committee’s meetings presenting the health of the reefs, the coral disease outbreak, and the direct link of these threats that impact water quality – thus the need for ratification of the Cartagena Convention’s Protocol for land-based pollution and tertiary waste water treatment plants.

 

  • In Mexico, public awareness about the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) was raised through talks in public meetings and universities, addressed to key stakeholders as well as to municipal development, ecology and tourism authorities. An infographic on the issue was made produced with the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas (CONANP, by its acronym in Spanish) Cozumel, and several press releases were sent to local media outlets as a communication strategy.

 

Different activities were organized to raise public awareness about the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Photo: HRI
  • Working to improve waste water management in Mexico, a fact sheet about Cartagena and NOM 001 was written in collaboration with HRI partners and sent to the new secretary for environment (SEMARNAT, by its acronym in Spanish) as well as to the new commissioners for natural protected areas (CONANP) and water (CONAGUA).

 

  • In Mexico, the NOM-059 law was finally published on November 14th, 2019, one year late, however, it includes the 10 submitted parrotfish species and the star corals (Orbicella spp.).

Parrot fish. Photo: Brian Skerry/National Geographic

 

  • HRI Mexico is actively organizing a strategic action plan to focus on the SCTLD outbreak affecting Quintana Roo. In collaboration with CONANP and fisheries department (INAPESCA), treatment trials have been deployed in Puerto Morelos and Cozumel. Results are not positive for brain corals, but trials seem to reduce the speed of affectation on the star corals (Orbicella spp.) and great star coral (Montastrea cavernosa) which are important reef building corals.

 

  • A pilot study focused on reseeding king crabs was carried out in patch reefs within Cancun’s MPA, in the area known as Manchones. In collaboration with the Fisheries Department and MPA authorities in Mexico, 24 previously caught king crabs were introduced in the said area in order to follow their impact on macroalgae cover. After five months, a clear impact on the benthic community was observed with a decrease in turf algae and macroalgae followed by an increase in calcareous and crustose algae. After six months, the crabs were not able to be found, which ended the experiment. Nevertheless, those observations are promising and a second phase to this pilot study will soon begin.

 

  • In Honduras, HRI’s direct involvement with the local West End water management entity, Polo’s Water Association, allowed a new portion of the community to be physically connected to the potable water piping system. Currently, there are another 71 connections being billed by Polo’s, and now they need to actively fundraise to design and build the needed sewage infrastructure for this area.

Grantee: Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • ELAW successfully completed the implementation of the project with the support of its partners in each country of the MAR: Centro Mexicano de Derecho Ambiental (CEMDA), Alianza de Derecho Ambiental y Agua (ADA2) and Laura Palmese.
  • To reduce impacts of coastal development projects by enforcing EIA rules in Quintana Roo, Mexico, CEMDA requested public consultation in 248 projects submitted in Quintana Roo – all of the projects which had the potential to impact the coastline, mangroves, corals, and seagrasses, and projects located in protected areas and Ramsar sites. CEMDA provided technical expertise and recommendations on 83 of the projects proposed, and most of those projects were not approved.
  • CEMDA amplified citizens’ voices in decisions about tourist developments and helping to stop some of the worst proposed projects. Citizens lodge complaints with the federal environmental prosecutor’s office (PROFEPA), and PROFEPA is legally bound to follow up on those complaints.

 

Participants of the training courses “Access to information and citizen participation” and “Right to a healthy environment”. Photo: CEMDA/ELAW

 

  • ADA2 supported the Mancomunidad of Izabal, integrated by the municipal leaders in Puerto Barrios, Los Amates and Morales, on the following activities:
    • Finalizing a new model regulation for integrated management of solid waste, which was subsequently approved by the Mancomunidad.
    • Incorporating the coordinators of the water offices from each of the three municipalities into the Mancomunidad team
    • Awarding three small prizes to family businesses in Puerto Barrios for demonstrating good practices to reduce plastics
    • Between 70 and 80% of PET bottles are collected by recycling businesses as well as the 75% of the cardboard.

 

  • Together with the Fisheries Department of Guatemala, ADA2 developed two Apps. One will be used to simplify the process of reporting complaints to DIPESCA about illegal fishing and enable them to follow up easily. The other one is a web-based catch reporting tool for important fisheries in the Gulf of Honduras. This tool will enable fishers to upload catch data directly to the Fisheries Direction’s web server. Over the course of the project, over 100 fishers participated in designing and adjusting the apps.  Both apps are available and functional in DIPESCA servers.

Photo: ADA2/ELAW

 

  • In Roatan, Honduras, Laura Palmese with the support of MAR Alliance, Roatan Marine Park and Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA), deployed ‘Drift Cards’ around the island to assess the origin of plastic waste reaching the shores. A total of 1369 drift cards were deployed and 139 were reported to be found within Roatan, Belize and Mexico.

Grantee: Comunidad y Biodiversidad A.C. (COBI)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) work plans were developed for three years (2017-2020) in collaboration with six fishing cooperatives (SCPP Pescadores de Vigía Chico, Cozumel, José María Azcorra, Pescadores de Banco Chinchorro, Andrés Quintana Roo, Langosteros del Caribe), CONAPESCA, INAPESCA, CONANP, ECOSUR and invited civil society organizations (Razonatura and Healthy Reefs Initiative).

Meeting to develop Fishery Improvement Projects work plans. Photo: COBI

 

  • CCOBI completed the development of the costing application for marine reserves implementation and operation and now it is available as an open-source program. At the same time, COBI helped the Cozumel Cooperative prepare a proposal for direct funding from CONAPESCA. For the first time, three cooperatives invested US$1,000 each in 2018 and 2019 (US$6000 total) to cover the fishery monitoring with ECOSUR. This is the first time the cooperatives invest in this, and, in addition, the fishers provided lodging and food (for technicians) during the monitoring activities.

 

  • COBI also analyzed all of their partners marine reserves in Mexico from a financial perspective. How much does each reserve costs and what options are available to finance them? The MAR network of marine reserves (15 reserves covering 178 km2) requires $1,021,764 pesos (US$53,000) per year to complete the biophysical monitoring.

How much does my marine reserve cost? Photo: COBI

 

  • The 13 fish refuges that were up for their five-year renewal during the grant period have now been renewed. Each site was monitored by a group of fisher citizen scientists during 2017, 2018 and 2019.

 

  • To scale up COBI experience with the sustainable lobster fishery, they organized a “training course for sustainable fishing and promoting fishery evaluation” for 30 people, including their staff, INAPESCA’s regional offices’ staff around the country, CONAPESCA and senators from the Senate Fisheries Commission. This has allowed COBI and the government to better implement standards in the MAR region, and in Mexico generally (by having the “in-house capacity”).

 

Training course for sustainable fishing and promoting fishery evaluation. Photo: COBI

 

Grantee: Centro de Estudios Marinos (CEM)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • In order to establish four new Fish Replenishment Zones (FRZ) in the north coast of Honduras, socio-economic information was collected (type of vessel and fishing gear used, targeted catch species, number of fishermen involved in the activity, among others). Two field trips were made to socialize the respective results: one to the communities of the municipalities of Trujillo and Santa Fe, and the other to the communities of the municipality of Iriona.

 

 

 

Meetings at different municipalities to socialize socioeconomic results. Photo: CEM

 

  • Perceptions analysis results about the state of marine resources and the governance of the FRZ of the Guanaja island were socialized with the members of the Guanajeña Commission and the Mayor of the Island.

 

 

Guanajeña commission and Mayor of Guanaja participating in the socialization of results. Photo: CEM

 

  • CEM supported the Ocean’s Board of Directors with technical strengthening. It is integrated by the Merchant Marine’s directors, the General Directorate of Fisheries, the Naval Force, and the Forest Conservation Institute. This Board of Directors constitutes a high-level platform for marine governance.

 

 

Board of Directors of the Oceans. Photo: CEM

 

  • A new, more fluid and innovative institutional web page with strategic and communicative messages on the operational and thematic CEM’s programs was developed. Visit link www.estudiosmarinos.org

Grantee: Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • SACD’s business arm was fully registered as “SACD Green Ltd” in September, 2019 and will serve as the umbrella for business mechanisms to be developed such as the Corozal Bay Eco Adventures tour operator. SACD is in process of licensing the tour operator.

 

  • SACD has increased their full-time staff, on a full salary, from six to eight people.

 

  • Patrols continue to be maintained at an average of three per week, targeting illegal activities and transboundary issues. During 2019, there was a 45% decrease in infraction compared to 2018; and transboundary incursions have been practically eliminated with zero records of incursions in CBWS from Mexican fishers during 2019.

 

Forest Department, Belize Coast Guard staff and SACD rangers during a marine patrol. Photo: SACD

 

  • A Surveillance and Enforcement Plan was completed in August 2019 to improve and guide the patrol operations in 2020.

 

  • Human resources supported by the project continue to be essential for maintaining the collection of field sample. SACD has been able to maintain the water quality monitoring, bird surveys and manatee drone surveys.

 

 

Water quality monitoring, bird survey and manatee drone surveys at Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS). Photo: SACD

Grantee: Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • Data acquired for conch and lobster will be made available for national science-based fisheries management plans that have yet to be developed by the Belize Fisheries Department using the Adaptive Management Framework (AMF) approach.

 

  • TIDE developed four fishermen forums to discuss important topics, such as updates on managed access, market surveys, catch logbooks, and from TIDE’s Science Department, among others.

 

Participants at one of the four fishermen forums implemented. Photo: TIDE

 

  • The information collected from Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) enabled the PHMR enforcement team to conduct targeted and strategic patrols within the marine reserve. SMART’s data shows where most of the fishing encounters are located in addition to the time of year various fishing activities occur.

 

  • The house and property at Big Falls were renovated and are now being advertised on Airbnb.

 

Big Falls facilities advertise on Airbnb. Photo: Ximena Flamenco/MAR Fund

 

  • The communication strategy was developed and approved by the Board and it is being implemented. As a part of the strategy, communication materials were purchased which are meant to increase TIDE’s visibility.

 

Different advertising materials developed. Photo: TIDE

Grantee: Southern Environmental Association (SEA)

 

Progress to date:

 

  • SEA continues to outsource items from the same vendors for sale in the Gift shop (t-shirts, stuffed toys, croakies, bookmarks, key chains, among others). From April to September 2019, reported sales were up to US$3,805.

 

  • To improve SEA’s and the protected areas visibility, SEA completed the mural at Placencia’s center near the football field.

Educational mural at Placencia’s center. Photo: SEA

 

  • SEA is developing on the work plan to implement the activity of glass bottom kayak rentals. Once the work plan is approved by the Executive Director, it will be submitted to MAR Fund.

The Mesoamerican Reef Rescue Initiative

Innovative financial mechanisms, such as parametric insurance for reefs, can contribute to rapid post-event reef restoration and recovery. As part of the parametric insurance model for reef in the MAR, the following activities have been completed:

 

Preliminary Concept for the Parametric Insurance. In September 2019, The Nature Conservancy  started a consultancy on the “Development of a preliminary parametric insurance concept for seven sites in the SAM Region”, with the technical advice of Willis Tower Watson.

 

The study ended in December. The analysis includes:

 

  1. Estimation of reefs areas with live coral cover within the selected sites;
  2. Estimation of the funding needed to implement a post-storm response at each site;
  3. Selection of the parameters (wind-speed at impact and maximum wind speed) that would trigger the insurance;
  4. Development of policy scenarios;
  5. Identification of the criteria to assess the benefits and disadvantages of the different scenarios to allow the potential buyer to choose the most appropriate concept.

 

Feasibility studies for the insurance model: Additionally, in September, the Financial Sustainability and Beneficiary Analysis studies for emergency response and parametric insurance for the MAR, were completed. The studies were developed by Willis Tower Watson (WTW) and co-financed by InsuResilience Fund (ISF), in support to the insurance model project.

Between August and October 2019, follow-up meetings were held in Roatan-Honduras, Izabal-Guatemala and San Pedro-Belize to build on their post-hurricane response capacity. The workshops were conducted in collaboration with members of the Technical Supervisory Committee of the Reef Rescue Initiative (RRI), the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) country coordinator, and The Nature Conservancy.

 

The main agreements of the meetings included:

 

In Honduras, the Forest Conservation Institute (ICF in Spanish) agreed to support the formation of at least two Response Coordinating Committees, one for the Bay Islands Marine Park, and one for the Cayos Cochinos Marine Monument. Both Committees will have the support of local institutions and organizations for organizing the emergency response brigades and coordinate the training.

 

In Guatemala the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP in Spanish) will lead the process to form a single Response Committee for the Caribbean region. In addition, CONAP will undertake and incorporate the Response Protocol and response actions in the management plans of both protected areas: Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge and Río Sarstún Multiple Use Area.

 

In Belize, a task force was formed to follow up and support on the formalization of the Response Coordinating Committee, organize the brigades and conduct the training next year. The task force will have the participation of the Belize Fisheries Department, the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro Tourism Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

 

A total of 57 people participated in the three workshops: 19 in Guatemala, 18 in Honduras, and 20 in Belize. Representing government agencies, municipalities, local non-governmental organizations, co-managers of protected areas, researchers, fishermen’s associations and the private sector.

 

Also, in order to implement and strengthen the emergency response capacities in the MAR, MAR Fund is building collaboration agreements with local authorities in each country, that will allow to have the necessary permits to create and train the brigades for their subsequent operation. In both Honduras and Guatemala, environment and protected area authorities offered follow-up to formalize a collaboration agreement with MAR Fund.

In October 2019, the Second Biennial Meeting of the Reef Restoration Network was held on Belize City to: a) discuss challenges and opportunities for the stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), b) exchange regional and international experiences on reef restoration, c) finalize and agree on the implementation of the Network’s Strategic Plan and d), conform the new Executive Committee 2020-2021.

 

More than 52 representatives from 35 organizations from the four MAR countries, USA and Dominican Republic participated in the meeting. Among them, the hotel sector (IBEROSTAR Group), the MAR2R project, the Coral Restoration Consortium, the Healthy Reefs Initiative, the Dominican Republic Reef Network, the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA), the Smithsonian Institute, the Coral Restoration Unit of the University of Hawaii, and the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute.

 

A new and updated website for the Network (www.coralmar.org) was created and is operational.

 

Participants to the Second Biennial Meeting of the Reef Restoration Network.  Belize City, October 2019.

In October, the Reef Rescue Initiative and the Belize Marine Fund, organized the one-day joint session, Mesoamerican Reef Health and Management: Responding to the Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) Crisis. The objective of the workshop was to discuss and share information on the current status of the SCTLD and its implications for Belize and the Mesoamerican Reef Region; and to identify required interventions for addressing SCTLD in Belize and the MAR. Over 60 participants and experts from the four countries of the MAR region, as well as the Dominican Republic and the U.S attended. This activity provided a beneficial learning exchange on the disease outbreak in the MAR and possible response strategies.

In August 2019, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the RRI had a meeting with the Directorate of the Fund for the Management of Protected Areas and Wildlife (FAPVS, in Spanish) of Honduras. The FAPVS showed interest in the Emergency Fund created by MAR Fund through RRI, and in possible coordination efforts for emergency care in coral reefs in Honduras.

 

  • In September, the International Development Bank (BID, in Spanish) launched the Terms of Reference for the Reef Economic Assessment Study in the MAR prepared jointly with MAR Fund. The ultimate objective of this study is to provide governments and the private sector with clear information on the value of reefs to guide decision-making to invest in reef conservation and financial mechanisms, such as parametric insurance.
  • In October, MAR Fund was invited to participate in the third call expressions of interest for InsuResilience Fund (ISF). For this, MAR Fund and WTW submitted a new version of the Project Concept “Development and implementation of a parametric reef insurance in the four countries of the Mesoamerican Reef”.

On November 7 and 8, the Technical Supervisory Committee conducted its seventh ordinary meeting. The main topics discussed included:

 

  1. Review and update of the 2019 Work Plan and budget
  2. Develop and review the 2020 Work Plan and schedule of key activities
  3. Prepare final version Guidelines for the RRI Emergency Fund – Criteria and mechanism for channeling funds
  4. Review and discuss communication activities
  5. The Committee will reconvene again in March 2020 in Guatemala City.

 

Technical Supervisory Committee seventh ordinary meeting.  Guatemala City, November 2019. Photo: MAR Fund

11th Joint Request for Proposals (2018) – Reef Rescue Initiative

 

1. Roatan Marine Park Coral Restoration Project.

 

Grantee: Roatan Marine Park (RMP). Honduras

 

Progress to date:

 

  • RMP sponsored a public event on April 26, 2019, to educate the Roatan dive community about the RMP Coral Restoration project and coral restoration in Roatan. The RMP Coral Restoration Project Manager, Tripp Funderburk, and Francis Lean, RMP Executive Director, spoke to approximately 35 attendees at Splash Inn.
  • The purchase of 20 coral nursery trees and related supplies for constructing and maintaining coral nursery was through Reef Renewal, a coral restoration company. Materials arrived June 12, 2019.
  • A draft of the Manual for Dive Shops that are participating in the RMP Coral Restoration Project was developed. The manual explains how Roatan dive shops will partake in the program along with information of the project background and about the certification course.
  • On July 4, RMP provided the Coral Restoration Certification Presentation to eight staff members from Roatan Divers. The group, installed two coral trees, collected coral fragments from two genotypes, and installed corals in new coral nursery trees at Seaquest Deep dive site. Moreover, on July 11, RMP provided the same presentation to six staff members from Sun Diver shop and installed two more coral trees at the nursery site.

.

Divers setting a coral nursery tree. Photo: RMP

 


2. Coral restoration in the reef habitat of Akumal (Arpea), Quintana Roo, Mexico

 

Grantee: Centro Ukana I Akumal, A.C. (CEA-AKUMAL). Mexico

 

Progress to date:

  • The characterization of 80% of the projected reef area (5000 of 6000 m2) was performed.
  • Four new reef patches were identified for intervention.
  • Five new stabilization lines of Acropora cervicornis were established in coral nurseries.
  • Five restoration areas were marked on the reef.
  • Equipment was purchased for the installation of external control nurseries in INAPESCA, currently under construction.
  • To date, four campaigns looking for coral fragments were carried out.
  • Ten campaigns were implemented to plant fragments of coral to the reef, with the aim of repopulating two restoration sites with a total of 810 fragments, originated from nurseries of INAPESCA and CEA.
  • After planting, three campaigns for monitoring and cleaning the fragments occurred, obtaining a survival of 87%.

.

Diver planting corals. PHOTO: CEA-AKUMAL

MAR FISH PROJECT

  1. The Regional Workshop to validate a common monitoring strategy for prioritization and validation of sites, protocol and partners, as well as data sharing agreements, was carried out in November 21-22 in Cancun, Mexico. All the partners of the MAR Fish Project participated as well as the members of the Belize National Spawning Aggregation Working Group -SPAG-. Mexican fishermen who monitor fish spawning aggregation sites also attended the workshop.

 

Beginning of presentation during Workshop for Validation of monitoring strategy, by COBI. Photo: Ana S. Martinez/MAR Fish Project Manager.

 

The main results of the workshop were:

 

  • A fish spawning aggregation sites map along the MAR region
  • Standardized procedures for use and implementation of traditional ecological knowledge, visual census, participatory science, new technologies, database management and data sharing for a regional network.

 

Group photo at the end of the Regional Workshop organized by COBI. Photo: COBI/Workshop Organizer

 

  1. The MAR Fish Project Coordinator was selected and started working officially in January 2020.
  1. Four financial agreements have been signed (COBI, SEA, CORAL and TIDE) and some activities have already began implementation with Project funding.

Effective communications

The MAR Fud’s social networks followers is increasing because the content published is relevant to the audiences . To December 2019 there are 3,260 followers on Facebook; 941 on Twitter and 1,342 on Instagram.

 



Follow us!

https://www.facebook.com/MARFund/
@MAR_Fund
@mesoamericanreef

 

Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru), species that inhabits the Guatemalan reefs. Photo: Ana Giró/HRI/em>

 

Raising awareness on the current state of the MAR is vital so that more people in the four countries encompassing this region learn about its importance in daily livelihoods.

 

MAR Fund provided a small financial contribution to the Mesoamerican Reef Reporting Project, which Earth Journalism Network (EJN) of Internews launched in 2019. For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/2v32MO7

 

With MAR Fund’s grant, two Guatemalan journalists complemented the funding granted by EJN to be able to publish the articles about the MAR.

 

The links to the journalistic articles prepared with the support of MAR Fund are the following:

 

  1. The battle for the Amatique Bay: http://bit.ly/38prdnt
  2. Drugs, mining, monoculture threaten Guatemala’s mangrove ecosystems: http://bit.ly/2UhGVNu

The winning team and representatives from Semillas del Océano, MAR Fund and the British Embassy. Photo: Lucy Calderón/MAR Fund

 

On September 25, the award ceremony of the environmental projects contest led by Semillas del Océano was held at the residence of the British ambassador in Guatemala City. Claudio Gonzalez, MAR Fund’s technical director, attended the event. The contest was supported financially by the British Embassy and MAR Fund.

 

Some Guatemalan media outlets published news about this event:

 

  • On August 13-14, the First Summit on Youth Leadership for the 4Rs was carried out. Led by Semillas del Océano and supported financially by the British Embassy and MAR Fund. Radio TGW published this news: http://bit.ly/36AtxXw

Workshop on mangroves. Photo: Lucy Calderón/MAR Fund

 

From September 18-20, in Guatemala City, the workshop “Developing a regional strategy for the management and restoration of mangroves throughout the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion” was carried out.

 

After this activity Diario de Centro América published this news: http://bit.ly/2u3lp4i

On September 2019, it was published on MAR Fund’s social media channels the last snapshot of the main impacts of the Conservation of Marine Resources in Central America Project, Phase I, empowered by MAR Fund.

 

Since March, a monthly newsletter has been sent to MAR Fund donors and stakeholders.

  • Since February 2017, outstanding stories on the MAR and on the Small Grants Project empowered by MAR Fund have been published.

 

Jóvenes alientan la esperanza de tener un mundo sin contaminación

https://marfund.org/es/jovenes-alientan-la-esperanza-de-tener-un-mundo-sin-contaminacion/

 

Emotiva clausura de proyecto en BICA-Utila

https://marfund.org/es/emotiva-clausura-proyecto-bica-utila/

 

Culminó en Livingston proyecto de conservación que impulsó el Fondo SAM

https://marfund.org/es/culminacion-proyecto-conservacion-en-livingston/

 

A Network of fish spawning aggregations will be protected in the Mesoamerican Reef

https://marfund.org/en/network-fish-spawning-agregations-protected-mar/

 

Cambio climático: ¿adaptarse o sucumbir? Casos exitosos de algunas comunidades del Caribe guatemalteco

https://marfund.org/es/cambio-climatico-adaptarse-o-sucumbir/

 

Jóvenes ganadores de los “Mini grants las 4rs” efectuarán proyectos para disminuir la contaminación en Guatemala

https://marfund.org/es/ganadores-mini-grants-4rs/

 

Los manglares del Arrecife Mesoamericano contarán con una estrategia regional de manejo sostenible

https://marfund.org/es/estrategia-regional-sostenible-mangles/

 

¡Vamos a Barra Cocolí!

https://marfund.org/es/vamos-barra-cocoli/

 

You can check the latest Mar News in the carrousel that is on the main page of the website:  https://marfund.org/es/

Contact us if you need additional information

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