MAR Fund receive 10 Million Euros in Endowment Funds from the German Government

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

MAR Fund receive 10 Million Euros in Endowment Funds from the German Government

In recognition of the transnational leadership of the Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund) in the conservation of biodiversity and natural goods and services in the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) region, the German Government, through KfW, has awarded the MAR Fund €10 million ($13.05 million dollars) in endowment funds.

“Being part of the MAR Fund since its early days, when a group of idealists participated in the design of the first regional fund in Latin America, and now, almost a decade later, witnessing this watershed event that will grant permanence to the institution, makes me feel it was all worth it. Now we can concentrate on increasing the endowment to provide meaningful, long-­‐term financing for this wonderful ecosystem, pride of Mesoamerica and wonder of the world.” – Lorenzo Rosenzweig, Chairman of the Board

“This partnership with the German Government and the four countries solidifies the regional and global importance of our reef system. The institutional advancement of the MAR Fund demonstrates the strengths of its founding members. We are excited to collaborate in a truly meaningful way to safeguard the livelihoods of our people.” – Sharon Ramclam, Vice Chair MAR Fund Board

The endowment will enable the MAR Fund to achieve its mission of providing long-term financial support for the conservation of the MAR eco-region. Earnings will be used to advance the MAR Fund’s Small Grants and Community Fisheries programs and to co–finance the Fund’s operation.

“Securing an endowment has been a goal of the Board for such a long time – indeed, our most important goal – and for it to have materialized so quickly is truly remarkable. The fact that the MAR Fund was able to react so rapidly and devote the intense work necessary to effectively take advantage of this opportunity is a testament to the organization’s dedication and capability.” – Gina de Ferrari, MAR Fund Board

The Mesoamerican Reef Fund is a four-­‐country conservation fund including Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras and is devoted to inspiring innovative transnational solutions to critical Mesoamerican Reef issues. The center piece of the MAR Fund’s work is the effective stewardship of an interconnected regional network of coastal and marine protected areas. Properly managed, this network will protect fish populations, habitats, spawning aggregation sites, aquatic resources, forest resources, and recreation opportunities, as well as supporting development of the eco-region.

Well-managed protected areas regulate access to fisheries, protecting both target and non-­‐target species, allowing populations to recover to sustainable levels required to support community livelihoods. Additionally, the inclusion of coastal areas within a regional network preserves sea grass beds and mangroves, providing critical reproductive habitat for endangered manatees, turtles, and other species. This coastal habitat also curbs land erosion and filters incoming water,serving as an effective buffer zone between the watershed and the reef. Finally, within the framework of protected areas we are able to reduce the impacts of climate change by applying proper management practices and protecting resilient reefs.

The Mesoamerican Reef is the largest coral reef in the Atlantic and is part of the interconnected system of coastal habitats and currents that extends throughout the Caribbean basin and beyond. Its coastline stretches for 1,000 kilometers, from the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, including the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System – World Heritage Site, to the Bay Islands in Honduras. The region’s natural riches include some of the world’s most stunning coastline and vibrant waters. In addition, the reef region is home to an array of over 500 fish species, some of the world’s largest populations of manatees and sea turtles, possibly the largest known aggregation of whale sharks, and valuable concentrations of mangroves, sea grass, and coral.

Mesoamerican Reef Fund
13 calle 21-­‐00, Zona 15 Vista Hermosa III, Interior 20-­‐74, Guatemala, C.A. 01015
Lorenzo Rosenzweig, Chairman of the Board
María José González, Executive Director


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