The geo-referenced images CAVU collected in Belize during the week long mission in August 2010 are now being integrated as a key decision making tool for the country’s Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI).
The data is being analyzed and utilized by the Natural Capital Project, a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, Stanford University, WWF and the University of Minnesota. Nat Cap created a set of computer tools that quantify the services nature provides. Their goal is to get businesses and governments to view these services as “natural capital” worthy of investment and critical to their bottom lines. These tools use scientific data to analyze land use decisions such as converting agriculture areas to residential development or building an airport along a coast.
Through the integration of our images and the use of Nat Cap’s tools, CZMAI will be able to create a truly comprehensive Coastal Zone Management Plan in Belize, a necessary and urgent step to protect the country’s Barrier Reef.
These impressive photographs of critical areas of the Belize Barrier Reef, cayes and coastal zone have also been delivered to the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute, to facilitate and enrich their work and will be accessible to scientific organizations, governmental agencies and partner organizations.