The marine and coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Honduras support some of the greatest biodiversity on Earth and provide livelihoods for thousands. Vast areas of coral reefs and mangroves have been lost and face continued threats from oil drilling, commercial fishing, tourism and climate change. Creative Action Institute began working with several grassroots environmental organizations in Belize and Guatemala in 2013. These partners voiced their interest in creative leadership training and support from our artist in residence program to bring their grassroots advocacy to life. This led to our three-year Creative Conservation Program, made possible with support from the Oak Foundation and New England Biolabs Foundation.
Participants implemented 29 creative community education and engagement projects that reached more than 5,000 community members with powerful messages about conservation and climate change.
The Creative Conservation Program supported the management and protection of 16 ecosystems across Belize and Guatemala by expanding the leadership and engagement capacity of a cohort of six leading conservation organizations. The project resulted in increased awareness and protection of endangered species, improved fire management, more inclusive education on no-take zones, increased collaboration between environmental organizations and fishers, decrease in littering, improved control of invasive species, and improved coral reef and mangrove protection.
Hear from environment leaders who participated in this program and see the impact of the program.
One of the tangible outcomes of this program is our open source Creative Conservation Curriculum, which is a collection of creative tools that were field tested during the program. It has been applied to address climate change, sustainable fishing, reef protection, pollution, gender equality, alternative livelihoods and natural resource management. It has also been used with a wide range of populations including primary school classrooms, youth, indigenous women, non-profit staff and fishers. The activities are meant to be adaptable and accessible for you to engage communities for decades to come.