How does TIDE co-management of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve benefit the community bordering the marine protected area in southern Belize?
TIDE is committed to local hire, whenever possible. TIDE contributes to the local economy through hiring, spending locally, and promoting southern Belize as a destination. TIDE uses community members on research projects whenever practical.
Protection of resources within the reserve contributes to the health of the reserve. TIDE conducts monitoring and research on a variety of factors:
a. Water quality
e. Fin Fish
Community Training and Capacity Building
a. Tour guide (increasing the number of tour guides and the skills of the tour guides)
b. Life skills training
d. Small business management
i. Research skills
j. Scuba-diving (including advanced and dive master training)
k. Tourism services with emphasis on small business development, hospitality management and culinary arts
l. Marine skills for community rangers, boat handling, reef monitoring, fish and coral identification, and global positioning systems training
m. Specialist tour guide training with a focus on fly fishing, kayaking and bird watching
TIDE recognizes that a well-trained and supported staff will utilize increased abilities and competencies at TIDE and at other organizations and works to build staff capacity through ongoing training.
a. Boat handling and maintenance
b. Communication skills
c. Report writing
d. Facilitating professional opportunities for growth and learning
TIDE Community stewards program focuses on providing training and support to community members to enhance their stewardship and collaborative work with TIDE. Training includes: marine and terrestrial ecosystems, marine and terrestrial laws of Belize and an education exchange visit to Guatemala.
Direct support to communities including a freezer provided to the Rio Grande Fishers Coop, an outboard engine provided to Monkey River Village Council and improvements to the Tour Guide Building (Monkey River)
TIDE Liaison Officer stationed in Monkey River
Use of volunteers at all levels of programming and internships for University of Belize students
The TIDE Environmental Education and Outreach Program includes school visits and presentations “…schools consider TIDE to be a credible, and informed, environmental resource which they and their communities can access and partner with. TIDE is additional described as a service provider of environmental education and resources.” Coombs (2008) Environmental Education and Outreach Program: Critical Review, field visits “Leaders were particularly satisfied that TIDE had sought their collaboration in the implementation of community activities…this approach was crucial…” Coombs (2008) Environmental Education and Outreach Program: Critical Review, Summer Camps “…annual summer camps are eagerly expected and highly recognized features of the summer break in Toledo.” Coombs (2008) Environmental Education and Outreach Program: Critical Review, the TIDE Freshwater Cup (2008 CEPAL Social Innovation Winner) and the TIDE Scholarship Program.
The TIDE Weekend is a community based event whose goals include: raising awareness of the issue of climate change through the Youth Conservation Competition, involving young people in raising that awareness through the Youth Conservation Competition, providing an opportunity and outlet for local businesses through the Fish Fest, increasing public awareness about the work of TIDE through the entire TIDE Weekend. The vendors of food at the event all sold out, which is great! Waluco’s (the restaurant next door to TIDE) also did outstanding business, selling out on some items, including drink. TIDE is very excited about this aspect of the event, and providing a fun venue for activities that celebrated the fishing heritage of southern Belize.