A proposal framework for the sustanable [i.e. sustainable] management of the Mesoamerica barrier reef system (MBRS) : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for Master of Resource and Environmental Planning at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
The Mesoamerican Barrier Reefs System (MBRS) a relatively isolated area, crosses four countries, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. It is approximately 625 miles long and is considered to be the second longest barrier reef in the world. As a Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) requires an equitable framework for the sustainable management that will include an intergovernmental instrument to induce an appropriate use of the natural resources and functional mechanisms for international cooperation. Other issues in the analysis that have been considered include coastal development, fisheries management, tourism and recreation, and conservation of the natural resources. The focus of the research has been the examination of possible management approaches that can be taken as guidelines to the sustainable management of the MBRS. Taking into consideration scientific values, landscape, and community values. However the countries involved are developing and agricultural based economies and marine economic activities are not considered to be a priority for the national economies. Other concerns are the different values that each country is giving to the area of the MBRS. Some recommendations are made in the area of professional training for Marine Protected Areas managers, the need of a wider legal framework including coastal areas as well as marine areas, strengthening communication mechanism across government agencies, industrial sectors, and the community groups providing coherence and continuity. It will also be necessary to develop a set of criteria to assess and monitoring activities along the MBRS. While countries such as Belize, Guatemala and Honduras are far behind in the establishment of a complete regional strategy. The suggestion is that Mexico can lead the project of the establishment of a regional cooperation system for the sustainable management of the MBRS.