The Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR-L), is the first regional effort focused on strengthening the skills of local conservation leaders who are working to preserve the magnificent but threatened Mesoamerican Reef. The Mesoamerican Reef - the longest barrier reef in the Atlantic Ocean - provides food, livelihoods, and other vital services to approximately 2,000,000 people in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.
The Mesoamerican Reef faces an array of threats, from local, land-based pollution and severe overfishing to poor tourism practices and global climate change. These threats are being addressed to varying degrees by a group of committed local and international organizations. However, a major bottleneck exists in our collective ability to make a meaningful, timely impact due to limited leadership presence in these organizations and a lack of cutting-edge project design and development capacity.
The MAR Leadership Program boosts conservation in the region by empowering local leaders from the 4 MAR countries to develop innovative and replicable projects that foster sustainable use and conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef region's coastal and marine ecosystems.
Since the inception of MAR-L, 103 Fellows have been trained from the four MAR countries over eight cohorts. MAR-L alumni are advancing conservation efforts in the region as well as increasing their own capacity for influence. Fellows are responsible for more than 65 marine conservation projects underway around the region, 25 have launched conservation advocacy campaigns, 65 have received promotions within their organizations. Fellows have catalyzed 28 multinational collaborations within the regi