The Short Story
CORAL's primary CRSD site in Honduras is on the island of Roatan, with outreach to the greater Bay Islands. The first pilot site for the ICRAN MAR Voluntary Marine Recreation Standards project, Roatan and its marine resource managers and marine tourism operators are actively partnering with CORAL to identify and implement community-led conservation initiatives.
More Progress in Honduras
Roatan's first workshop on sustainable marine recreation (SMR) was conducted in December, 2005. Participants—including marine recreation operators, local community leaders, resort owners, concerned divers, scientists, non-governmental organization representatives, and government officials—had the opportunity to learn about the global distribution, ecology, and conservation status of coral reefs, as well as sustainable marine tourism in coral reef destinations. Continuing SMR workshops have helped to spread reef conservation information to more key stakeholders in the area.
CORAL has also held Conservation in Action workshops in Honduras, in which participants engage in interactive exercises to identify and rank threats to local coral reefs. Participants also devise solutions to these problems through stakeholder-led conservation initiatives, and CORAL has awarded microgrants to fund a number of these projects. CORAL's conservation outreach is now expanding through the CORAL Reef Leadership Network and the Environmental Walk-Through Program.
CORAL’s long-term vision for coral reef conservation in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) region is to mobilize an environmentally and economically sustainable marine tourism industry that is fully integrated into marine protected area (MPA) management and producing economic benefits to the community. CORAL and its partners provide technical and financial assistance to Roatan’s marine recreation sector, the local community, non-governmental organizations, and local government in support of user fee systems, improved marine patrols, and other conservation programs launched by the Roatan Marine Park and other island organizations.
Examples of Progress
- In 2006, marine park managers, dive businesses, and local conservation groups in Roatan installed 47 mooring buoys with funds from a CORAL microgrant.
- Honduras joined its neighbors in Belize, Mexico, and Guatemala to approve and publish the first-ever Voluntary Standards for Marine Recreation in the Mesoamerican Reef System.
- Key stakeholders have been trained in coral reef ecology, reef threats, and the value and importance of marine recreation standards.
- The CORAL Reef Leadership Network includes leaders from diverse backgrounds who can reach broad audiences in Bay Islands communities.
- In 2009, CORAL created a business plan for the Roatan Marine Park that is currently being implemented.