MESOAMERICAN REEF LEADERSHIP PROGRAM 2018 CALL FOR APPLICATIONS
The Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR-L) is looking for teams of maximum six early to mid-career people based in the MAR ecoregion shared by Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico (state of Quintana Roo only) who are committed to conservation of the region’s coastal and marine ecosystems and wish to develop leadership skills to advance their careers.
Thematic Approach for the 2018 Cohort: Sustainable Fisheries
Team members should work together to pursue a collective impact at the local, state, national or regional level and should apply with a project related to sustainable fisheries that will also promote community development. The MAR Leadership Program offers training, project incubation and network opportunities to emerging leaders from all relevant sectors as long as their professional activities and interests have a direct connection with the health and environmental sustainability of the region.
Be a resident of the Mesoamerican Reef ecoregion, which includes locations within Belize, the Caribbean basin of Guatemala and Honduras, and the State of Quintana Roo in Mexico;
Preferably be at the early to mid-career level;
Minimum three years of experience working on environmental (ideally coastal and marine resource related conservation) issues through community work, school, university or work experience;
Experience working with local community groups and/or initiatives;
Be passionate and capable of generating change;
Have regular access to the internet in order to participate in exchanging data, email, activities, and experiences from a remote location;
References from colleagues and supervisors.
Need more information? Website: http://liderazgosam.org/en/ FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/MARLeadership YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/user/marleadership
MAR Fellows in action. 2018 First Trimester Report
By MAR Leadership Team | Communications
Vicente 2010 MAR Fellow
Dear friends and supporters!
It’s the first trimester of 2018 and we are happy to report what MAR Fellows are up to.
Vicente, 2010 Fellow is very active organizing the "Sustainable and Social Tourism Summit", the most important sustainable tourism event in Mexico, of which his organization, Sustentur, is an ally and co-organizer. The event brings together more than 30 international speakers and 300 professionals, mainly from Mexico and Latin America, to discuss solutions to the great challenges of sustainable and social tourism. On the other hand, he has just finished an assessment of Isla Cozumel as a sustainable tourism destination that will allow to the tourism sector to establish actions to reduce its impact, and is actually working in the Coast of Oaxaca identifying opportunities for the development of community based-tourism.
Carlos, 2012 Fellow has recently been analyzing the private sector actions that have an impact on the environment in Playa del Carmen; water is a priority to which he has devoted time and effort to encourage people to connect to the drainage that is 100 meters from the sea. This effort is being integrated by the three levels of government, private sector and civil society organizations. Carlos is also the advisor of the strategy for climate change in Riviera Maya (Municipality of Solidaridad). According to the IPCC (2007), society can adapt to climate change and its impacts through adaptation and mitigation strategies. The proposed measures are of various kinds and are aimed at the protecting property, natural resources and human life. As part of the strategies of adaptation of the private sector Carlos has been a liaison with the Municipality of Solidaridad (Playa del Carmen) in order to guide the management of the Greenhouse Gases Balance and design an Action Plan to face climate change impacts and report to the CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project).
Tzahyrí, 2014 MAR fellow has been creating art sculptures with recycled materials for the carnival and the festival of birds that took place in February on the island of Holbox, Quintana Roo. These actions encourage her students’ creativity and they learn new skills while helping to prevent thousands of bottles and plastics from ending up on the Mesoamerican Reef.
Alejandro López, 2016 Fellow has also been very active. He continues making progress in the methodology for the economic evaluation of hydrological services of the aquifers in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and Bacalar in collaboration with the Autonomous Metropolitan University with Dr. Daniel Revollo, a MAR Leadership mentor. Alejandro has participated in a unique Satellite Event in Mexico of the World Water Forum, in its 8th Edition with the paper "Challenges and Solutions for the Conservation of the Karst-Coastal Aquifer of the Yucatan Peninsula". He participated in a project to determine the hydro stratigraphy of the coastal area of the municipality of Solidaridad and Puerto Morelos. He has participated in various conferences and life experiences for children and young people with the main objective of raising awareness of the local ecosystems and the Quintana Roo aquifer. He is organizing through Centinelas del Agua A.C. an event to celebrate World Water Day this coming March 22nd at the Cancun's Planetarium.
It’s the end of the year and the holiday spirit is in us and we in the MAR Leadership Program are filled with gratitude with all the people that has supported us throughout 2017. Thank you very much for trusting us and for allowing us to continue protecting our Mesoamerican Reef System.
We are happy to share with you the progress made by the MAR Leadership Program and our Fellows the fourth quarter of the year.
Biennial Meeting of the Mesoamerican Reef Restoration Network
In September 19-21, 2017 the Biennial Meeting of the Mesoamerican Reef Restoration Network took place in Akumal, Mexico. The objectives of the meeting included 1) develop a database of the key actors involved in reef restoration work in the MAR region; 2) identify and map current and potential reef restoration projects or sites in need of restoration; 3) propose a biennial action plan for the Network (2017-2019) by country and at a regional level; 4) propose mechanisms for the operation and effective operationalization of the Network; 5) set collaboration agreements of the members of the Network to strengthen the Network and the restoration processes in the region. 11 MAR Fellows from different cohorts and countries participated in the meeting.
Regional Meeting on Sustainable Fisheries in the Mesoamerican Reef
To strengthen the scientific and technical capacity of organizations working on marine and coastal conservation in the MAR, coordinated efforts are needed among the four countries. On November 8, within the framework of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) meeting that took place in Merida, MAR Fund, FMCN / MAR-L and Rare, organized a side event with the objective of laying the foundations for the creation of the Regional Network on Sustainable Fisheries in the Mesoamerican Reef. 44 people from 28 organizations participated representing CSOs, government (mainly from the environmental sector) and academic institutions of the four countries that are currently working in sustainable fisheries. As a result of the meeting it was possible to identify the key actors, successful sustainable fisheries projects and best practices in progress that can be replicated, as well as priority areas. Due to the high interest of the participants in the MAR network, during the workshop it was proposed to organize a second face-to-face follow-up meeting to formally form the Network with an efficient governance mechanism, statutes and a work plan. Consequently, after the workshop the organizers undertook to organize a second meeting at the end of February 2018. The establishment of a Committee represented by a MAR Leadership Fellow of each country was proposed. The organizers of the workshop will follow up with the proposed representatives of each country. 11 MAR Fellows from different cohorts and countries participated in the meeting.
Maricarmen (2010 Fellow, México) work on lion fish control
The invasion of the lionfish, Pterois volitans is considered one of the most damaging threats to the reef. Current control measures of the species in MPA include encouraging consumption through direct catches by fishermen and divers, which have been maintained since the first record of the species in the Mexican Caribbean (2009). Furthermore, knowledge about their eating habits and natural history has been incorporated by Maricarmen in the Costa Maya from 20014 to 2017. In the study she observed several species of fish that coexist in the same refuges as the lionfish. It is significant to mention that she identified 24 species of predators / lion fish consumers. Currently the results in Quintana Roo show a lower number of lionfish. She recommended increasing efforts to stop reef deterioration due to poor handling of human waste, overfishing and tourist use. Therefore, she is promoting in coordination with academics, fishermen, tourism service providers and civil society the reef restoration through immediate attention to natural and anthropogenic damages.
Yanú (2010 Fellow, Honduras) work on tourism and transport sector
As the environmental officer of Puertos Marinos de Honduras (PMH), a company in charge of the solid bulk port of Honduras (Terminal de Graneles Solidos de Puerto Cortes), Yanu has been part of the process of hiring and supervision of two consultancies. One is monitoring the water quality of the Quilimaco channel and the second is coral reef and water quality monitoring in the Puerto Cortes Bay. These data will contribute to greater monitoring efforts in the Mesoamerican Reef as well as decision making at the local level government. She was also involved in the elaboration of the San Pedro Sula´s development plan were, as part of the environmental team, proposed the establishment of biological corridors and prioritized domestic and industrial wastewater treatment to reduce the negative impact of the Chamelecon River in the MAR. Since October, Yanu has been selected as the Vicepresident of the International Alumni Association of the Institute for Housing and Urban Devbelopment Studies (IHS from Erasmus University). Through this volunteer work she hopes to continue protecting fragile ecosystems by promoting livable and sustainable cities around the world.
Laura (2014 Fellow, Honduras) Award Winning Video
#Connect, an idea incubated in MAR Leadership workshop receives an award within the framework of the First Short Film Festival of Green Action, organized by the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines of Honduras (MiAmbiente). The short film titled #Conectate presented by Laura Palmese received the First Place Award and the Audience Award. #Connect is the result of an adaptation made to an idea generated in the framework of the Third MAR Leadership Workshop of the 2016 cohort on Blue Economy, where participants received training on storytelling strategies. In a group exercise where Fellows Alejandra, Alex and Juan (Mexico), Michelle (Guatemala) and Milton (Honduras) participated, the story was created and a home video developed which received feedback from MAR-L team and the training consultants. However, with the support of the Honduran producer José Jorge and the actors of the Honduran theater group Clavo Films, the short film was produced and presented. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szo_SocxxyQ
Synergies between Fellows from Mexico and Honduras: Promoting the Blue Economy
Juan, 2016 MAR Fellow from Mexico visited Roatan, Honduras at the end of September to support Laura, 2014 Fellow in her project to reduce the impacts of tourism development including wastewater and solid waste management. Juan is in charge of the Environment Area at Ahau Tulum Properties and has successfully managed to convince the executives of hotel Group to implement best environmental practices that have also resulted in economic savings. During his stay in Roatan, Juan met with managers, assistant managers and hotel maintenance managers in the West Bay area, where he conducted a questionnaire and a sustainability inspection. From the visits, a report with recommendations was developed. Laura and Juan have now considered the possibility of holding a workshop on blue economy in mid-2018.
Cecilia (2015 Fellow, Belze) joins Blue Venture
Cecilia joined Blue Ventures in January 2017 as their Community Program Coordinator in Belize. Blue Ventures is a non-profit organization working to rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities. In Belize, Blue Ventures is focused on community and outreach program and coral reef and lionfish research. Cecilia’s role included the coordination of the community, outreach and education program in Sarteneja and other stakeholder communities across the country. Her role also included working closely with the “Belioness” Belize Lionfish Jewelry Group by developing and sustaining good organizational management processes, identifying appropriate opportunities for capacity building, and growth within their business, as well as supporting learning exchanges and capacity development of other lionfish jewelry initiatives in the region. Cecilia also led a social marketing campaign aiming to increase demand for invasive lionfish. In November, Cecilia’s role changed to Conservation Coordinator. Her new role includes grant management, overseeing the effective implementation of education and outreach efforts on marine conservation, mainly focusing on the invasive lionfish, and working with the Belize Fisheries Department to implement the National Lionfish Management Strategy.
Thank you for helping us change the world
Regional Meeting on Sustainable Fisheries
Maricarmen Garcia work on lion fish control
Yanu work on sustainable tourism
Cecilia's work "Belioness" Belize Lionfish Jewerly
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