Resilient Belize Action Design Workshop

May 05, 2022

Belize faces unprecedented stress from climate change, rapid urbanization and real estate development, unsustainable tourism, and lack of infrastructure. Erosion, sea level rise, sedimentation are displacing communities and jobs. Livelihoods of those who depend on the reef are threatened. And the Mesoamerican Reef, second largest to the Great Barrier Reef, and the natural capital of sea grasses and mangroves and other irreplaceable ecosystems in Belize are under threat from increasingly poor water quality, rising sea temperatures, reclamation, and overuse. 

On May 4 - May 5, 2022, Associate Director, Johanna Lovecchio facilitated an Action Design Workshop in Belize City in support of the Resilient Reefs Initiative partnership. Led by Chief Resilience Officer, Kalene Eck, at the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and key program partners at the Belize Department of Fisheries and Belize Ministry of the Blue Economy, the program is supported by the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and knowledge network partners. 

The workshop brought together key stakeholders, community organizers, national agencies, marine park managers, tourism operators, and NGO's to refine actions and approaches in support of a Resilience Strategy in two key thematic areas: Community & Livelihoods and Watersheds & Ecology. Tangible projects were outlined and identified that support capacity-building and apprenticeships for local livelihoods and villages, adaptive and coordinated watershed management, and nation-wide monitoring platform that coordinates and standardizes water quality monitoring and impacts across the NGO, academic, citizen scientist, and government communities.