CAVU’s Executive Director Jordan Vaughan Smith and Principal Writer Emily Barrett spent an exciting week in Belize, November 11 – 15, 2008, for the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) symposium and gala event. They spent the week visiting colleagues in the environmental community, and planning for CAVU projects in 2009.
Smith and Barrett met with Melanie McField of the Healthy Reefs Initiative, Boston University’s Les Kaufman, Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations’ Yvette Alonso, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Janet Gibson, Colin Gillett of the newly reinstated Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, the Oak Foundation’s Imani Fairweather Morrison, and other influential members of Belize’s environmental community, including Lindsay Garbutt, Rafael Manzanero and Janelle Chanona.
Collaborative planning took place for CAVU’s 2009 Outreach Campaign, a project of educational and awareness-building tools to support improved management of Belize’s incredible natural resource, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. At the IYOR symposium, scientists and managers shared research, much of which underscored the need for CAVU’s upcoming campaign. The IYOR gala event was an opportunity to celebrate Belize’s jewel, the reef, with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Local music, reef champion awards and speeches highlighted the festive evening.