“Can anyone recommend me kids or teenagers up to about 18 years old who are great spokespeople for the environment and nature conservation? It can be in any area related to the environment and they can be speakers of any language.
“The reason I ask is that once kids in the Caribbean reach their teens, there’s a dropout rate from environmental education programmes in support of our protected areas and protected species. One way we might try to combat this is by showing them kids their own age, or just older, who are cool, passionate and making a difference in the environmental area that they’re into.”
If you know of anyone who might be interested, post a comment in the comments section and I will connect you. Thanks!
Claudio Gonzales of MARfund(right) with fishers in Honduras.
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. Continue reading →
Head Warden CJ Jeffrey patrolling Moliniere-Beausejour Marine Protected Area (E. Doyle)
From Emma Doyle of the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum:
[St. George’s] (July 31, 2011) World Ranger Day is commemorated on July 31 by national parks around the world. In the Caribbean, let’s take this chance to honour the dedication and passion of the rangers and wardens who work in our region’s marine protected areas, such as a Head Warden from Grenada. Moliniere-Beausejour Marine Protected Area is considered to be home to some of the finest reefs in Grenada, and Head Warden ‘CJ’ Jeffrey tells us about the work that goes on to protect such a special area.
Most important to the wardens is ensuring that there are no illegal activities, especially spear-fishing, which is very destructive to the reef. “Marine protected areas play a vital role in helping provide refuges where fish can breed. The fish grow and fill the protected area, and because they’re territorial they then move out into the surrounding waters and help replenish nearby fisheries” CJ explains. Continue reading →
I’ve spent a lot of time with Caribbean fishers – “simple” people who have a lot to share with us simpletons, uh, I mean simple folk, in the U.S. when it comes to the environment.
Here’s one thing that these fishers get: without regulation and enforcement, conservation won’t happen, because without it, the good guys don’t matter. They also know that it’s up to them to make their voices heard. They’re talking with their government officials. They’re willing to make sacrifices to protect their future – and in so doing protect our future.
There are many in government in this country who are out to undo environmental regulations, and where they can’t repeal them outright drain the funds needed for enforcement.
Let’s make our voices heard. (Especially if you are a Republican who cares about the environment — your elected officials seem to believe only Democrats care. They need to know that someone’s behind them if they break ranks.)
Go to usa.gov, find your official’s contact information. Email ’em, call ’em then email ’em and call ’em again. Especially when it comes to matters regarding the marine environment. Let’s do our part to keep fish in the sea and a future for all our children. These fishers are doing theirs.
The Caribbean is right on our doorstep. It shelters the second largest coral reef in the world and countless marine species. It’s beautiful. It’s fragile. The people of the Caribbean need our support to conserve it for all of us.
This is a short excerpt from the documentary in progress At Sea Level, Caribbean fisherfolk and the future of the sea. The film will tell the stories of fishers who are already leading conservation in their own words. These interviews were done at the Fisher’s Summit of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference.
So. I’ve been rolling this around in my head for awhile — how can film help promote the leadership of fishers in marine conservation in a way that’s actually going to raise awareness and make something constructive happen in the world and particularly the ocean?
I passionately believe that film is important for its ability to move us. But my thoughts are with Dal and my roots are in marketing: Art is great. But there is an ocean of difference in raising consciousness and making things happen. So much of the important work that’s being done is local or regional: small projects, supported by small organizations. Who better to tell us what needs to happen in their places than the fishers?
I’d like to use the model of charity:water and make this site as a conduit to support fisher led conservation and maybe eventually a film. I’m still working on the logistics of that, so if you want to help in any way, stay tuned — or better yet, subscribe to the blog or find me on facebook or twitter.
While I’m in Montana, I’m editing videos from the fishermen we filmed in Venezuela. I get energized every time I hear from the fishers — they’re amazing people. I’ll be posting the edits shortly, so that’s yet another reason to subscribe.