Focusing on marine protected areas in Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua, this project is addressing themes common to all three countries such as marine governance, promoting community involvement in all decisions related to natural resource management, improving spatial management and access rights, and ensuring that lessons are shared regionally.

In Costa Rica, we are working with government authorities, local partners local communities and fishers to support the development of participatory management actions in the area of Cabuya (part of the recently created Cabo Blanco Marine Management Area).

In Honduras, we are working with partners and coastal communities at Cuero-y-Salado Wildlife Reserve, Bay Islands Marine National Park and Cayos Cochinos Marine National Monument. These three protected areas lie within the globally important Mesoamerican reef and contain a rich tapestry of interconnected coastal wetlands, mangrove forests and coral reefs that support an impressive array of species including hawksbill turtles, Utila spiny-tailed iguanas and Antillean manatees.

Together with our partners we are working to improve conservation across this 8,000 km2 area by supporting community-led sustainable marine management within each of the protected areas, while also improving links between the different communities and empowering marginalised groups such as women and young people. Underpinning this, we are also carrying out research to strengthen the evidence of the benefits of marine conservation for people and for biodiversity.

We are grateful for financial support from the Arcadia Fund – a charitable foundation of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; Tinker Foundation; Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund; Species Fund (Lucile Foundation).