Within the environmental management world, it is a well-known fact that there is never a shortage of meetings, workshops and training sessions. Meetings... meetings... and more meetings!
Last month was filled with a ton of really interesting workshops, trainings and meetings attended by TIDE’s staff and volunteers. In various ways they facilitated knowledge exchange, capacity building, networking and future planning. Read about a couple workshops/ trainings/ meetings our staff members attended last month!
1. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Adaptive Fisheries Management Workshops
TIDE's fisheries assessment work has gained attention by partners involved in developing the science behind Managed Access. Not only do we have some of the highest quality data among all reserves in Belize due to our high research staff training standards, but we also have a dataset stretching back to several years before the implementation of Managed Access in 2011. This provides a rare and crucial opportunity to compare commercial species health before and after Managed Access began, helping us to evaluate the effectiveness of the Managed Access as a new fisheries management tool for Belize. Science Director James Foley attended Fisheries Adaptive Management workshops in Belize City and San Francisco, CA (funded by Environmental Defense Fund) to build capacity for field staff to do higher level fisheries data analysis and help fisheries science experts (who advise the Fisheries Department) design the adaptive management framework for Managed Access. In simpler terms this will provide a decision making system for appropriate management responses to various potential scenarios, for example overfishing of certain sizes due to the type of fishing gear used, or the knock on effects of severe overfishing in one particular year. Our science has been instrumental in informing the development of the framework and therefore is helping to ensure sustainable fisheries through the expansion of Managed Access to other reserves following this model in the near future.
2. Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) Reps Visit TIDE
Development Director, James Lord and Education Outreach Coordinator, Norman Budna, hosted representatives of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center this past month at TIDE. The purpose of the get together was for James and Norman to highlight how TIDE’s current work contributes to climate change adaptation. These include ongoing fire management, habitat conservation, reforestation and watershed management, fisheries management and environmental education projects. In addition to sharing current projects being undertaken, ideas for future climate change adaptation projects were discussed. These include community participation in fire management, new agroforestry and water management projects and using the Local Early Adaptation Planning (LEAP) tool in local communities. James Lord explained, “the nice thing about LEAP is that it’s a tool used at the community level, results in local buy-in to climate change adaptation and has been field tested in the Pacific where it has generated good results”.
3. Annual Belize GIS Users Conference (BGUC)
TIDE’s GIS Specialist, Julia Baker, joined other Geographic Information Systems (GIS) users in Belize City at the Annual Belize GIS Users Conference. During the conference, presentations were made by Belizean organizations about their current and future use of Esri GIS Technology. This involved presentations about crime analysis, town planning, forestry management and the applications of the new and improved ArcGIS online. This workshop was a great fit for Julia, who since October 2013 has been introducing to TIDE the capabilities of GIS and involved in numerous projects. Her main project has been on habitat mapping Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR), which on completion will help inform fisheries management.
4. Climate Change Adaptation Exchange
In 2010, the Micronesia Conservation Trust (MCT) supported the development of community based climate change (CC) adaptation tools for the Micronesia region. An “adapting to climate change toolkit” called Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) was designed to provide community members and stakeholders with an understanding of climate change concepts and adaptation strategies. In order to share this toolkit with other conservation practitioners within Guam and other parts of the world, a workshop was held and attended by TIDE’s Education Outreach Coordinator. Norman participated in the sharing of this Pacific tool with other Caribbean participants (from Belize, Grenada and Puerto Rico) in order to build skills and collect feedback on how the tools could be used and modified for the Caribbean.
5. Lionfish Control Workshop
TIDE’s Executive Director, Celia Mahung and Junior Marine Biologist Tanya Barona, attended a regional lionfish control workshop in Guatemala City. Other Belizean organizations that were also represented at this workshop included the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA), the Fisheries Department and Blue Ventures. The workshop facilitated the exchange of information and lessons learned with regard to lionfish control among participating countries and the creation of a draft strategy for lionfish control in the Mesoamerican Reef Region.
Adaptive Fisheries Management
Climate Change Adaptation