Climate-Smarting Marine Protected Areas and Coastal Management in the Mesoamerican Reef Region

The coastal and marine resources of the Mesoamerican reef provide protection and a livelihood for two million people, mainly through fishing and tourism. However, the resources are under severe threat from the negative effects of climate change. The project strengthened the adaptive capacities of coastal communities in the region. Together with the municipalities, it identified options and measures for adapting to climate change, using science-based methods such as ecological risk analysis and the modelling of ecosystem services. Building on this, the project integrated adaptation strategies into coastal development and management plans for marine protected areas, and implemented adaptation measures in other selected areas. The development of expertise and technical skills was supported, as was the development and implementation of local and national adaptation strategies and the regional sharing of information on successfully tested adaptation approaches.

Project data

Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
IKI funding
4,444,948.00 €
06/2018 till 05/2023
Implementing organisation
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Germany
Political Partner
  • Belize Fisheries Department - Belize
  • Department of Protected Areas/National Institute of Forest Conservation and Development, Protected Areas and Wildlife (ICF)/affiliated with MiAmbiente+ - Honduras
  • Directorate of Biodiversity {DiBio)/Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines (MiAmblente +) - Honduras
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) - Belize
  • Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) - Guatemala
  • National Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) - Mexico
  • National Directorate of Climate Change (DNCC)/ MIinistry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines (MiAmbiente+) - Honduras
  • National Protected Areas Secretariat - Belize
  • Quintana Roo State Ecology and Environment - Mexiko
Implementing Partner
  • Leland Stanford Jr. University - USA
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - Guatemala/Mesoamerica
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - México
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - USA

State of implementation/results

  • Project completed.
  • The project reached approximately 30,000 radio listeners and engaged 60,000 social media users in the region via its educational radio podcasts and animated videos on climate change and adaptation.
  • The updated NDCs of all participating countries have targets based on the science-based analyses produced by the project.
  • The project finalised its Training of Trainers program on ecosystem services and climate adaptation, and the new trainers have carried out trainings in all four countries.
  • Based on scientific analyses and modelling, as well as participatory processes, the project prioritized seven adaptation measures for coastal communities and Marine Protected Areas in all four countries, including protection and restoration efforts for mangroves, coral reefs, sand dunes and a watershed. The implementation of these measures is progressing and will soon be handed over to local stakeholders for continuation and follow-up.
  • The project developed a web viewer, which will be highly useful to decision makers and stakeholders at multiple levels, by presenting the project’s scientific analyses on ecosystem services and climate risks.
  • More than 100 journalists and civil society communicators participated in a two-day workshop to improve their understanding on climate change impacts and adaptation options for the region. As follow up, a journalism contest was launched during which more than 10 stories/articles were published in the four countries.
  • To raise awareness for climate adaptation the project has collected first-hand accounts (testimonials) from local communities and authorities on how they are coping with the impacts of climate change, and published them on Youtube.
  • In Mexico, a community of practice for climate change and coastal ecosystems was established with 14 members from 6 communities which uses the materials developed by the project to share knowledge with their communities.

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