Building capacity for participatory ecosystem-based marine conservation in Central America
Dr Robert Bensted-Smith
FFI - Fauna and Flora International
CoopeSoliDar R.L, Fundación Nicaraguense para el Desarrollo Sostenible - FUNDENIC, Red de Comunidades Turísticas de Honduras - RECOTURH, Fundacion Futuro Latino Americano - FFLA
Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua
An innovative approach to Marine Protected Area management, which emphasises participatory governance, Ecosystem-Based Management, and support for local culture, livelihoods and access rights, is developed in pilot sites in three Central American countries (Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica)
1. Three MPA’s (in Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica) are in process of being (or are already) created or expanded, with governance systems in which local communities play a substantive role and have access rights that motivate long-term conservation.
2. Coastal community livelihoods are enhanced through participation in marine governance, improved resource use, and equitable relationships with other actors (tourism industry, authorities).
3. At each MPA managers use participatory zoning as a tool to enhance ecosystem resilience, productivity and biodiversity, as well as to harmonize uses, and take into consideration dependence on adjacent areas.
4. At each MPA stakeholders, authorities and collaborating NGO’s have acquired knowledge and skills relevant to participatory governance, EBM, monitoring, and accessing and using information, and are networking with peers in other sites (including but not limited to these three).
5. Awareness raised nationally and internationally about the need for, and benefits of, an approach to management of marine biodiversity that is participatory, ecosystem-based, supports local culture and livelihoods, and involves preferential access rights.
Related Projects: The Atelopus Initiative: conserving endangered Tropical Andean amphibians
, Innovative Governance Models for Marine Protected Area Management in Ecuador
, Connecting coastal communities for integrated seascape management in Atlántida, Honduras