Editors' Choice Award 2005, 11/05
Article Source: Scuba Diving Magazine
The people, destinations and businesses that are changing the way we dive and the way we see the underwater world today.
We've chosen winners who quietly do right by the environment every day and others who have taken on sometimes overwhelming humanitarian and ecological challenges. These are the people who recognize the power of the community of divers to change the world for the better and who do something about it. By taking note [...], we hope to make it more likely that the rest of us can follow in their footsteps.
Mesoamerican Reef Alliance Project Chosen Best Environmental Initiative
The Mesoamerican barrier reef, which stretches from the northern Yucatan to the Bay Islands of Honduras, is well-known to divers for its wealth of biodiversity. But in recent years, its health has been threatened by a variety of factors: overfishing, pollution, climate change, coastal development and increased tourism. In response, the International Coral Reef Action Network (ICRAN) launched a long-term, multipronged program to help improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the reef. ICRAN is looking at all the areas that impact reef health--watershed management, fisheries and marine tourism--and is inviting local stakeholders to come up with a voluntary code of conduct. The U.S.-based The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is leading the marine tourism part of the project, and is working with dive operators and other involved parties in all the relevant countries--Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras--to identify the best practices to protect the coral reef. As ambitious as it all sounds, the positive outcomes from this summer's intial round of workshops bode well for this precedent-setting project.
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