The MAR Leadership program (MAR-L) staff and 2016 fellows cohort gathered in Cancún, Mexico in September to meet each other and learn about the importance of economic fundamentals for natural resource conservation. Instructors came from the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE), Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
2016 MAR-L fellows.
Dr. Charles Colgan, Research Director at the CBE, kicked off the event with a presentation about the Blue Economy. He reminded participants that economics cannot define the intrinsic value of nature, but can put a value on its use by humans. Alfonso Malky from CSF and Daniel Revollo from UNAM then presented on economic fundamentals. They emphasized that economics can help us understand the causes of environmental problems, and provide tools for finding solutions that strike a balance between conservation and development. With the help of case studies and games, Alfonso and Daniel covered market based concepts like supply and demand, surplus, elasticity and balance, real and nominal price, opportunity costs, and cost benefit analysis.
Alfonso Malky working with fellows.
On the third day, fellows presented their projects to their peers and the team of experts: Alfonso Malky, Aaron Bruner and Daniel Revollo. The reviewers provided feedback and raised questions to each fellow in order to identify their needs and tailor future training courses. Mexican Fellows from former MAR-L cohorts also attended and shared their experiences.
For more information about this course and others planned with MAR-L in 2017, please read our blog post about this important work.