CORAL Reef Leadership Network Expands to Playa del Carmen
Mexico's CORAL Reef Leadership Network (CRLN) launched on the island of Cozumel in 2008, and has been incredibly effective and far-reaching in its educational outreach efforts. The nine Cozumel CORAL Reef Leaders have already educated over 700 tour guides through CORAL's Sustainable Marine Recreation workshops, and these workshops have become the official tour guide training program for guides operating in the Cozumel Reefs National Park.
Now CORAL is expanding the CRLN to Playa del Carmen, where one of our partner organizations, Amigos de Sian Ka'an, is working on a project through the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative (MARTI) to encourage hotels to establish good environmental practices. Amigos de Sian Ka'an is doing evaluations within the hotels, and CORAL saw the opportunity to extend that assessment process to the marine recreation providers that work at hotel marinas.
|New Leaders practice explaining the
Voluntary Standards for Marine Recreation
at the CRLN training in Playa del Carmen
Mexico Program Manager Kenneth Johnson trained six new CRLN Leaders to conduct Environmental Walk-Through (EWT) evaluations with marine tourism providers who have concessions at hotel marinas. The evaluations will help the companies to improve their environmental practices and make sure that the tourists they serve are educated about how to behave around the reefs.
A few years ago, CORAL provided an extensive number of Sustainable Marine Recreation workshops in Playa del Carmen during the process of developing region-wide voluntary standards for marine recreation. Many of the tour guides working in the town's hotel marinas have already received the training, and the EWT process will help to reinforce, refresh, and update their knowledge.
Eventually, we hope to provide EWT assessments for all marine recreation providers working through hotels that are participating in the MARTI program, which would expand CORAL's work across the entire Riviera Maya region.
Photo by Kenneth Johnson