MARfund is an organization whose mission is to protect the Meso- american Reef, the second largest in the world, a 700-mile long system off the Caribbean coastline of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. We spoke with Claudio in August.
On MARfund’s work with fishers: In 2007 and 2008, MAR Fund, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI) organized workshops involving authorities, NGOs, academia and the fishermen in all 4 countries of the MAR region. Since then the fishers have been very interested in being involved in marine resources co-management.
The Barras de Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge: In Honduras, the fishers have been negotiating with marine protected area authorities in the Barras de Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge and were granted co-management of three fishing grounds. We were hoping that the fishers would propose one no take zone and instead they proposed four. All have now been officially designated as no take zones. This is just one example of our work.
“Without them, we have less than half a chance.” It is critical that we capitalize on the interest and willingness that has been demonstrated by the fishing groups. I can’t say conservation will have no success at all if the fishers are not involved. But without them, we have less than half a chance. They are the ones who are there, the ones who depend on these resources.
The importance of film and stories: The fishers are very inspired to see film about how resources can be conserved with their cooperation. It is proof for them that they can make a difference.
How to help MARfund: We have some wonderful private donors, but there is still so much to do. We have set up a project on the Global Giving website where people from all over the world can contribute. Please check it out!
Claudio can be reached at email@example.com