Keeping pace with modern communication skills
Communicating is at the core of what MPA managers do. Whether focused on financing, law enforcement, management planning or bio-physical monitoring, strong communication skills and engaging outreach and education efforts are integral to the effective management of MPAs. As spokespersons for the marine environment, MPA managers liaise with a wide cross-section of stakeholders including fishers, tourists, scientists, teachers and students, decision makers and government officials and must be ready and able to relay credible messages about the importance of their MPAs, the regulations governing them and the needs for effective management.
From February 29th to March 4th, 2016 25 MPA managers and outreach officers from 12 Caribbean countries and territories met in Cancun, Mexico for the Fourth Regional Peer-to-Peer Workshop on Outreach and Education for Caribbean MPAs, hosted by staff of the Mexican National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP for its abbreviation in Spanish). They honed their skills in speaking with the media, they shared about social media and innovations in communications, and together they took a strategic look at their outreach and education programs. The STINAPA Bonaire Junior Rangers joined the workshop to help regional MPA managers face up to the challenge of developing MPA education programs that appeal to Caribbean youth.
Thanks to close collaboration with media professionals from the Grenada Broadcasting Network and Sustainable Grenadines Inc and communications experts from TNC’s Reef Resilience program.