Mesoamerican reef leadership program
The Mesoamerican Reef Leadership Program (MAR Leadership) is a joint initiative of the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, A.C. (FMCN) and The Summit Foundation. Its objective is to accelerate conservation efforts in the Mesoamerican Reef ecoregion. The program provides resources to regional leaders who have the capacity to carry out bold, replicable projects that will reduce the principal threats to the reef. These threats include (but are not limited to) coastal development driven by tourism, overfishing, and land-based sources of pollution.
Basically, the program intends to demonstrate that there are sustainable alternatives to the current pattern of destructive development. At the same time, the program imparts concrete skills to the leaders that they will use throughout their professional careers. The program includes the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, all of which are home to parts of the Mesoamerican Reef–the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere.
The MAR Leadership Program provides resources to leaders with innovative ideas so that they can carry out projects that have the potential to decisively change the way the Mesoamerican Reef is currently used. Each leader has the opportunity to develop a high-quality business plan or project proposal, receiving training, assistance, and seed capital to carry out feasibility studies, surveys, and other investigative needs for project design.
The leaders who present the best project proposals at the end of one year receive continued support to help them obtain sponsorships and other assistance in capitalizing their projects. The most effective projects will be promoted in the entire MAR region so that they can be widely replicated and achieve a greater impact.
By developing skills and investing in creative projects in the four MAR countries, the program promotes the creation of a vibrant network of leaders with solid projects, the skills to implement them, and a strengthened vision of conservation for the entire region.
For more information and recent news, please visit the MAR Leadership website.
María Eugenia Arreola
Program director for MAR Leadership