Jul 7, 2020

July update

Dear friends,

In the first week of June, we collaborated on the successful installation of a satellite transmitter on a juvenile golden eagle in Chihuahua, Mexico. The satellite tag will provide critical scientific data that will lead to the design of better conservation strategies. This is an especially important achievement in Mexico, as scientific information on this species is scarce. In the coming weeks, we hope to install an additional tag on an adult eagle that is currently recovering in a raptor rehabilitation center after being found injured in the wild.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to cancel some of this year’s activities, like the environmental education workshops with local communities. Despite these challenges, we have been able to adapt and, with the use of technology, spread the conservation message among relevant stakeholders. For example, one of our partner organizations created a digital poster to educate ranchers on the dangers of using poison as a strategy for predator control—a widespread practice in many parts of Mexico that accounts for a high percentage of golden eagle mortality. The poster will be distributed via WhatsApp and we hope that it will slowly contribute to changing the mindset around some of these practices.

Your support is paramount for the continuation of our work. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and please consider renewing your contribution to the project. 

Sincerely,

Francisco Ehrenberg

Jun 8, 2020

MAR Leadership actions during COVID-19 pandemic

Recognising and Managing Emotions webinar
Recognising and Managing Emotions webinar

Today we live challenging moments. As of May 31, 2020, more than 6.03 million people worldwide have contracted the coronavirus, COVID-19. The spread of COVID-19 is a health crisis, but it is not just a health crisis. COVID-19 will also have social, economic, environmental, and political impacts that could leave severe damage in the coming years, reversing the development gains achieved in the last 20 years. Nevertheless, this situation is an excellent opportunity to improve and grow as individuals, organizations, and society. It is time to rethink who we are, enjoy what we have, and motivate ourselves to keep going.

Despite the difficulties that COVID-19 is posing in the coastal communities of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the MAR leaders continue working with the passion that characterizes them. Today more than ever, we have to continue supporting fishers and coastal communities to make them more resilient to the changes we are experiencing. Fishing, which represents a critical social and economic activity for food security and livelihoods, especially in coastal communities, has been directly and indirectly affected (COBI, 2020).

In the Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program, we have had to adapt to the new circumstances and reschedule our face-to-face activities for the 2019 cohort. We are using the technological tools available, which have allowed us to communicate and continue learning. In the last few months, we have held a series of webinars with COBI (the 2019 cohort mentoring team) mainly sustainable fisheries and sustainable community development. 

Webinar 1: Citizen Science in Marine Conservation taught by Stuart from COBI and MAR leader of the 2016 cohort. During the webinar, Stuart talked about how to generate information with coastal communities; what is citizen science, what examples do we have in the MAR and how to create an impact on citizen science.

Webinar 2: Fishing panorama in the MAR and the world delivered by Diana from Rare and MAR Leader of the 2016 cohort. Through this webinar, Diana explored fisheries management strategies and some examples of successful collaboration.

Webinar 3: Collective action delivered by Inés from COBI and MAR Leader from the 2018 cohort. In the webinar, Inés spoke about the theory of collective impact and shared some resources such as case studies, lessons learned, and communities of practice.

At the request of the 2019 cohort, we organized a webinar with Carlos, our leadership trainer related to recognizing and managing our emotions durng COVID-19. 

In July, the five teams of the 2019 cohort will finish their cohort cycle and will present their fine-tuned project proposals to seek resources for their implementation. The projects are:

1.     A community monitoring program for a sustainable elasmobranch fishery in northern Quintana Roo.

2.     Tools for the transition to territorial rights of use in fishing in Laguna Micos Quemada, Tela, Honduras.

3.     Sustainable fishing in the Bay Islands Marine National Park, Honduras

4.     Biological and socioeconomic characterization of the Manjua fishery in the Guatemalan

5.     Turneffe Case Study for the establishment of an Adaptive Lobster Fishery Management Model in Belize.

We will be launching the 2020-2021 Call for Applications in July. Stay tuned!

Citizen Science webinar - COBI
Citizen Science webinar - COBI
Fishing panorama in the MAR webinar - Rare
Fishing panorama in the MAR webinar - Rare
Collective Impact webinar - COBI
Collective Impact webinar - COBI
Apr 28, 2020

April update

Rainwater harvesting system in Nuevo  Leon
Rainwater harvesting system in Nuevo Leon

Dear Friends,

With your support and that of our partners in Mexico, we brought our project in northern Mexico to a successful close. In total, we:

  • Established 20 community gardens.
  • Installed 18 rain-harvesting systems, 12 wood-saving stoves, and 12 solar pots.
  • Built four solid waste management units.
  • Trained 342 people in the use and maintenance of the different technologies.

The project, which benefited 14 communities located across two Protected Areas in the states of Coahuila and Nuevo León, contributed to increasing the self-reliance of rural families that live in isolated areas, reducing their vulnerability and increasing their wellbeing. 

We hope that you enjoy the photographs that accompany this report and that they may give you a glimpse into the lives of rural Mexican families, and of the positive impact of your kind donations. 

In the coming months, as Mexico and the world come out of the global health crisis, we will continue working towards our mission of improving the living conditions of some of the most vulnerable segments of the population. We hope that you join us on this journey. 

Best wishes to you and yours in these trying times, 

Francisco Ehrenberg

Wood-saving stove in Nuevo Leon.
Wood-saving stove in Nuevo Leon.
Family garden in Nuevo Leon.
Family garden in Nuevo Leon.
Kids posing in front of their new rainwater system
Kids posing in front of their new rainwater system
Wood-saving stove in Coahuila.
Wood-saving stove in Coahuila.
Solid waste management unit in Coahuila.
Solid waste management unit in Coahuila.
 
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