(Belize City – February 12, 2014) The Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI) has recently released their 2014 Eco-Audit to help protect the natural, striking beauty of the Mesoamerican Reef. The Mesoamerican Reef extends over 600 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, spanning the coasts of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. HRI began in 2004 as a regional initiative and has now expanded to over 50 local, regional, and international organizations that are focused on conservation and sustainable used of the Mesoamerican Reef (see the video from the launch event 2014 Eco-Audit).
The JRS Biodiversity Foundation is proud to be among many supporters of Healthy Reefs Initiative through our support of the Mesoamerican Reef Health Database, an online database of HRI’s reef monitoring indicators that will foster collaborative data analysis, data exploration and conservation.
An eco-audit is a systematic multinational evaluation of the implementation of recommended reef management actions by governments, NGOs, and the private sector. The Eco-Audit, which includes over 350 analytical documents, is thought to be the only type of multi-national environmental audit of its kind in the world. There are 28 indicators which are organized into seven key themes including Marine Protected Areas; Ecosystems-based Fisheries Management; Coastal Zone Management; Sanitation and Sewage Treatment; Research, Education, and Awareness; Sustainability in the Private Sector; and Global Issues. The Eco-Audit’s results found encouraging progress has been made on some issues, but the collective pace of reef management must be accelerated in order to safeguard the Mesoamerican Reef. For more information on the Mesoamerican Reef Eco-Audit and the Healthy Reefs Initiative, please visit the Healthy Reefs Initiative website.