Connecting our communities with the ocean
This first quarter, the Environmental Education & Outreach Program continues to develop activities, to connect our communities with the reef and its inhabitants, and empower them to make informed decisions.
Our Education program aims to increase awareness on environmental topics such as coral reefs, sea turtles, and the Bay Islands Responsible Seafood Guide, and thus build capacities of our reef guardians, park rangers and navy officers. On February, five park rangers completed the series of training, including representatives from BICA Utila and Guanaja.
RMP Park rangers collaborate with the navy officers to facilitate the enforcement of environmental law, and we see the opportunity of increasing the knowledge of authorities through workshops. Recently, 23 navy officers participated in the training on the Responsible Seafood Guide (RSG) of the Bay Islands and the Spiny Lobster Monitoring. We aim these officers can collaborate with the park rangers and the Research Program in the data collection process of the spiny lobster confiscated when patrolling.
One of the strategies for this year is to connect natural science teachers with the reef ecosystem, through education for conservation workshops and techniques that can be used in the classroom. Previous to the development of this course, during the month of February and March, the Education coordinator was invited to participate in the courses given by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Education & Professional Development department. The further implementation of this training with a group of teachers from Roatan will take place by the end of April and beginning of May with the support of WCS Education.
Each year, BINMP co-management organizations organize the celebration of Mesoamerican Reef System Day. This year, due to the pandemic, this activity was virtually developed in conjunction with several organizations (MARAlliance, BICA, Islas de la Bahía Foundation, AMATELA and Tela Marine Research). The objective was to connect students from different educational from the Bay Islands and Tela Bay with the reef on that special celebration, through short talks, online games, virtual tour in the Tela aquarium, visit to the Utila Iguana Station, underwater educational videos, and interviews.
On March with the Bay Guardians, an environmental club made up of children from Tela community coordinated by AMATELA, our coordinator had an interactive talk and games about sea turtles, biology, reproductive cycle, threats and ways to protect them.
In March, within the framework of the celebration of Women's Month, in collaboration with the Municipality of Roatán, the RMP Community Development and Education Program, and MARAlliance, a group of entrepreneurs from Corozal and Los Fuertes learned about corals and particular reef species followed by a reef expedition during the activity “The women and the sea”.