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New international board created to better represent reef system

Akumal, Q.R. — An international board of members has been created that will better represent the interests of the Mesoamerican reef system.

The board has been put together to better establish communication between sectors of both government and non-government environmental organizations involved with the reef. This includes academics, entrepreneurs, individuals and foundations who will all contribute to the conservation of the coral reef system.

The Sistema Arrecife Mesoamericano (SAM) board includes representatives from México, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, the countries directly associated with the Mesoamerican reef system.

The creation of the board was part of the recent Network of Restoration of Mesoamerican Reefs event in Akumal that ran September 19 to 21 that was co-organized by the Ecological Center of Akumal and directed by doctor in Oceanology, Héctor Lizárraga Cubedo.

Representing Mexico on the newly assembled board is Anastazia Teresa Banaszak, research director at the Institute of Marine Science and Limnology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Anastazia is also active in the tourism aspect of Puerto Morelos and will be acting chair of the board.

Workshops will be held to discuss issues with specialists to better diagnose the real health status of the reef system in the affected countries as well as the development of a reef map, which will provide accurate information for new reef recovery projects.

The new board consists of Mexico’s Anastazia, Lisa Carne of Belize, Ana Giró of Guatemala, Ian Drysdaleand of Honduras and Claudio González from the MAR Fund, the environmental organization who funded the meeting.