Success in Mexico at the 2012 HRI Regional Partner Meeting

by Jen Chapman, Country Coordinator, Belize

In August this year, I made my way up to Mexico to represent Blue Ventures at the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) first annual regional partner meeting. With representatives from Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, as well as invited experts from the USA, everyone was ready for a very productive few days.

Updating recommendations and indicators for the 2012 report on reef health and 2013 eco-audit were the main topics on the agenda (visit www.healthyreefs.org to download previous years’ reports). Break-out groups were tasked with different items; ours was sustainability in the private sector, focussing on the promotion of responsible seafood consumption and environmental stewardship in the tourist industry.

Jen presents to the meeting the results of the break-out group discussions © TIDE (James Foley)

The days were filled with presentations and discussions that melded into evenings occupied by conversations with those names you read at the top of reports, but seldom meet. This ‘face-time’ was a major highlight of the meeting, allowing the exchange of ideas, experiences and advice with the key players in coral reef conservation for the entire Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.

Contacts were made, partnerships were strengthened and all the meeting objectives were achieved. Many thanks to HRI for arranging such a successful meeting; we are now all looking forward to see the summary of findings in the 2012 report card!

Responsible consumption of seafood was discussed at the meeting, and promoting lionfish as a sustainable alternative to reef fish is an important part of our work in Belize.

 

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Jen started working for Blue Ventures as a Field Scientist in Belize in January 2011, and progressed to Country Coordinator in July 2012. During her time in Belize, Jen has built strong relationships with the community of Sarteneja as well as various national and regional conservation organisations and networks. She is responsible for developing and implementing the Blue Ventures' Belize conservation programmes, and ensuring that the science programme conducted on expeditions to Bacalar Chico maintains a high standard, enabling our contribution to regional and national efforts. She also coordinates community education and outreach events, and liaises with local partners to achieve common goals.
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About Jennifer Chapman

Jen started working for Blue Ventures as a Field Scientist in Belize in January 2011, and progressed to Country Coordinator in July 2012. During her time in Belize, Jen has built strong relationships with the community of Sarteneja as well as various national and regional conservation organisations and networks. She is responsible for developing and implementing the Blue Ventures' Belize conservation programmes, and ensuring that the science programme conducted on expeditions to Bacalar Chico maintains a high standard, enabling our contribution to regional and national efforts. She also coordinates community education and outreach events, and liaises with local partners to achieve common goals.