[Coral-List] collaborative reef conservation

Melanie McField mcfield at healthyreefs.org
Wed Nov 5 17:36:18 EST 2014


*Largest meeting of marine conservation partners convenes to safeguard the
Mesoamerican Reef*

*Tela, Honduras*

*November 4, 2014 *

More than 60 marine conservation leaders from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and
Honduras gathered last week in Tela, Honduras to jointly develop the 2015
Mesoamerican Reef Report Card, which will be released in early 2015.
Convened by the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), this
collaborative meeting was an opportunity for HRI partners to share regional
data, reflect on conservation achievements and identify strategic
measurable actions to advance conservation over the next two years.

HRI partners have been collecting and sharing standardized coral reef
monitoring data for the past decade and previously produced three Report
Cards on ecosystem health and two Eco-Audits of management effectiveness
and success. They teamed up again this past summer to systematically
measure the health of more than 200 coral reef sites across 1,000 km of the
four countries in the Mesoamerican Region (MAR). HRI partners reviewed and
used these data as the scientific foundation for drafting the 2015
Mesoamerican Reef Report Card. Data collected through these shared studies
are truly valuable - they are relevant, repeatable, comparable, and like
the oceans, they are trans-boundary in scope.

To support regional partnerships, HRI launched its new online Mesoamerican
Reef Health Database with a demonstration on how to query the database and
produce graphs or map-based data visualizations. When the 2014 survey data
come online, the database will house over 1,000 entries, including more
than 100,000 records of corals, fish, and key invertebrates. HRI also
demonstrated its new Online Data Entry Tool, which allows faster, more
efficient data entry and analysis of the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef
Assessment (AGRRA) coral reef health indicator data.

A highlight of the meeting involved the partners working together to
identify and prioritize concrete, measurable actions achievable over the
next two years that will help reduce the most significant threats impacting
the region. Examples include encouraging the implementation of Region-wide
regulations to protect parrotfish, as successfully done by Belize in 2009
and reducing carbon emissions associated with the annual plans of
government, NGOs, academia and private sector by 15%. Look for the full
list of actions in the upcoming 2015 Report Card, which underscores the
dedication of the HRI partners to making a positive conservation difference
in the region.

Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative is an international partnership
of almost 70 local, national and international NGO's, research
institutions, government agencies and donors that aim to improve the health
and management of the Mesoamerican Reef. The MAR is a biodiversity and
cultural hotspot, where local communities cherish and understand the value
of this amazing ecosystem and support its long-term conservation. Support
for the Healthy Reefs Initiative and the annual partner meeting comes from
the Oak Foundation, Summit Foundation, JRS Biodiversity Foundation, and an
anonymous foundation.

For more information visit us at www.healthyreefs.org, on Facebook as:
Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, Youtube: Healthyreefs, and Twitter:
@HealthyReefs or contact us directly -

Melanie McField- Director of Healthy Reefs Initiative;
mcfield at healthyreefs.org; tel:(754) 610-9311

Marisol Rueda Flores –HRI Mexico Coordinator; rueda at healthyreefs.org; tel:
(52) 1 984-877-0815

Roberto Pott- HRI Belize Coordinator; pott at healthyreefs.org; tel: (501)

Ana Giró Petersen –HRI Guatemala Coordinator; giro at healthyreefs.org; tel:
(502) 5314-8806

Ian Drysdale –HRI Honduras Coordinator; drysdale at healthyreefs.org; tel:
(504) 3336-0406
Lorenzo Álvarez Filip- HRI Scientific Advisor; lorenzo at healthyreefs.org;
tel: (52) 1 998-937-2917

Melanie McField, PhD
Director, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative, Smithsonian
1648 NE 47th St, Ft Lauderdale FL 33334
Cell: 754 610 9311   Tel: 954 990 8842
email: mcfield at healthyreefs.org

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