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Caribbean Medium Grant

Improving the knowledge, monitoring and protection of Mesoamerican reef’s fish, spawning aggregations and replenishment zones

Marine protected area Key biodiversity area Transboundary areas
Governance Management effectiveness Livelihoods
Local communities Indigenous people Farmers/Fishermen
Management plan Legal framework/Regulation Co-management
761,753.00 EUR Belize, Caribbean July 01, 2020 - June 30, 2023

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

Nicholas Caye, Sapodilla Cayes, 342407; Port Honduras Marine Reserve, 220100; Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, 220039; Cayman Crown.

Diagnostic tools used

Belize Management Effectiveness Evaluation (2009), Management Effectiveness Tracking Tool (2011) and Belize National Protected Areas Systems Plan.

The BIOPAMA AC Objectives addressed

  • Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations (strengthening on-site infrastructure/equipment for patrolling, poaching control, developing capacity of staff);
  • Strengthen the legal framework required to achieve effective biodiversity conservation;
  • Support local communities’ initiatives aiming to enhance the livelihoods of local people whilst effectively contributing to protected areas management.

Priority need addressed

Improved management effectiveness and governance indices at the end of action by 2023.

Project activities

This project will address the following objectives based on the protected areas associated with the project:

  1. To obtain legal recognition and management of Cayman Crown in Belize, a recently discovered fish spawning aggregation site by
  2. To promote participatory monitoring and protection of 3 sentinel spawning aggregation sites in Belize as an integral part of the Mesoamerican Reef spawning aggregation network.
  3. To gain support for project activities through communication and income diversification programs.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

The implementation of this project will bring significant positive change for the protected areas (Gladden Spit Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve including the Cayman Crown Site and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve) associated with the project.

Foremost, by providing information on spawning aggregation sites and engaging local actors for their protection: Policies will be put in place, in countries where this is necessary, for the full protection of spawning aggregation sites or temporary protection during spawning seasons; the law will be applied during spawning periods in spawning sites, not only in already protected areas but also in new areas proposed at Cayman Crown; local fishermen will adhere to no-fishing guidelines according to the rules set out in the spawning aggregation sites; and the number of fish documented in these areas during the spawning period will be stable or increase for all species.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) and Belize Southern Environmental Association and Healthy Reefs for Healthy People

Photo credits: Leonard Chavarria Jr.

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