Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program


Conserving the reefs of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras

The Project

The Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR-L) develops young talent from the four countries of the Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR): Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, providing technical capabilities, leadership skills, and networking opportunities to implement projects for the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources.

Context

MAR-L has proven to be a platform for scaling up projects and creating synergies at the international level. In ten years, the project has achieved results at different levels: its structure has strengthened the professional capacities of the region's human capital, facilitated a profound personal transformation of the participants, and created strong bonds within and between generations. These achievements translate into high-impact actions that are generating positive changes in the conservation of the MAR and benefiting more than two million people who depend on the reef's health.

Our commitment is to continue to develop the region's talent and strengthen the MAR Leadership Network with a long-term strategic focus. This will promote collective action and replicate successful projects that will facilitate, accelerate and amplify measurable impacts toward developing an environmentally responsible economic model and effective conservation actions in the MAR region.

The lines of work that guide L-SAM's actions are as follows:

  1. Talent recruitment and capacity building.
  2. Design and implementation of high-impact projects with the support of experts.
  3. Networking of leaders and experts in marine and coastal issues.

MAR-L benefits more than 2 million people who depend on the reef's health.

Achievements

MAR-L has proven to be a platform for scaling up projects and creating synergies at the international level. In eleven years of operation, it has trained 122 leaders from the four countries and incubated more than 75 conservation projects. More than 70 leaders have advanced to positions of greater responsibility, and 25 leaders have influenced public policy in their countries.

From the relationships developed in MAR-L, 30 multinational synergies have emerged, and 27 leaders have received funding from the Mesoamerican Reef System Fund (MAR Fund) to implement their projects and consultancies. These achievements translate into high-impact actions generating positive changes in the conservation of the MAR and benefiting more than two million people who depend on the reef’s health. 

In the first half of 2022, the closing workshop of the 2021 generation was held in person, with the participation of 11 leaders. Additionally, the meeting of the Executive Committee of MAR-L was held, where the results of the eleven years of the project were presented, and it was approved to expand the scope of the Executive Committee to other capacity-building initiatives implemented by Sureste Sostenible, A.C., such as the Kaanbal Suut project.

Learn more about the projects of the Generation 2021 leaders here.

The 2022 generation of MAR-L will be developed in the context of the Mesoamerican Reef Enterprise Development and Financing Mechanism (MAR+Invest) project, led by the MAR Fund, which seeks to attract private capital to invest in MAR reef conservation. A meeting with MAR+Invest partners will be held in September 2022 to initiate the project.
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Partners

  • Sureste Sostenible, A.C.
  • The Summit Foundation
  • The Oak Hill Fund
  • Mesoamerican Reef Fund
  • Oak Foundation
  • GlobalGiving
  • Marisla Foundation
  • The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
  • TreadRight Foundation
  • The Dalio Ocean Initiative
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Joint Fund for Exploration and Conservation