Mission Statement, Goals and Philosophy

Mission Statement

"Green Reef is a non-profit, non-governmental membership organization dedicated to the protection of the environment and for the conservation of the Belize Barrier Reef and the associated marine environment in order to maintain the integrity of the ecosystems for the benefit of all humans."

Green Reef is a private non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of Belize’s marine and coastal resources. The organization was founded in June 1996 by concerned Belizean citizens and residents of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye who are very much aware of the environmental and social problems affecting the community. Green Reef is an officially recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) registered as a non-profit organization, under the companies ordinance, chapter 206 of the laws of Belize. As a scientific and educational organization, the aims and objectives of Green Reef are to promote interest in wildlife and conservation of our natural resources among students, teachers, tourism guides, fisherman, visitors and the general public.


Since its inception in 1996 Green Reef has strived to attain the following:

  • Become a strong national membership organization with local and international members
  • Become a leading force for planning and implementation of environmental matters, marine reserves and marine related activities/programs.
  • Be the voice of conservation in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, for the reef, its cayes, and its natural resources.
  • Sensitize the people of Belize and its friends to gain support for conservation issues.
  • Educate the youth of Belize and the general public about the importance of conserving and protecting the reef.
  • Support the work of government institutions, agencies and other conservation groups working for conservation and the protection of the environment.
  • Foster open dialogue with concerned persons, community officials and government representatives to bring about changes through behavioral adaptations, policy and legislation.
  • Create a financially viable organization through the establishment of income-generating programs.
  • Be a focal point for research and for facilitating all relevant scientific activities in San Pedro and the surrounding cayes.

Philosophy and Values

The decisions and actions of Green Reef are based on the belief that the Belize Barrier Reef named as an UNESCO World Heritage Sites is a source of food, beauty, security and marine resources on which the people and the country of Belize have come to depend on significantly for its economic and physical survival.

In carrying out its programs Green Reef will:

  • Respect and enhance human, cultural, environmental and physical assets of the country and region.
  • Promote the meaningful participation of all Belizeans in the development process.
  • Operate in a manner which reflects the highest ethical standards of both human activity and environmental ethics.

Aims of Green Reef

Green Reef during the next five years will continue to achieve the following ends:

  • Promote sustainable development through community participation.
  • Sensitize the people with conservation issues through public awareness and environmental education programs on marine and coastal conservation.
  • Foster the sustainable development of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye through its representation in community, NGO’s and government organizations/agencies and institutions.
  • Protect and conserve the Belize Barrier Reef, its cayes and resources through the establishment of projects, research programs and the involvement in regional and international organizations and programs/activities.
  • Advocate for conservation/environmentally friendly practices.

Green Reef subscribes to Principles and Ideals of:

  • United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change and Convention on Biological Diversity (signed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.)
  • Belize Audubon Society’s "An Environmental Agenda for the 21st Century"
  • Tulum Declaration (signed on June 1997)
  • United Nations Law of the Sea Convention
  • UNESCO World Heritage Convention
  • CONCAUSA Accord
  • CCAD-Central American Commission for the Environmental and Development

Supports the Mission and Goals of:

As a member of the following organizations, Green Reef supports ongoing conservation efforts in Belize and internationally:

  • Belize Barrier Reef Committee (BBRC)
  • Belize Alliance of Conservation NGO’s (BACONGO)
  • Belize-Mexico Alliance for the Management and Conservation of Common Resources (BEMAMCCOR)

The work of Green Reef also serves to correspond with initiatives identified by major resource planning and conservation groups in Belize including:

  • The Eco-regional Planning Initiative for the Meso-America Barrier Reef System (MBRS)
  • The National Bio-diversity Strategy and Action Plan State of the Coastal Zone Report 1995 (prepared by the Belize Coastal Zone Management Project) United Nations Development Plan/Global Environmental Facility (UNDP/GEF) Country Strategy

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors for Green Reef Environmental Institute will be responsible for conducting the corporate affairs of the institute, including, but not limited to, the opening/closing of bank accounts; effecting title on property holdings; executing the legal affairs of the Green Reef; and approval/rejection of recommendations by the technical committee. The board of directors will also assist with policy formation & goals, and will promote the image of Green Reef at home & abroad. The board will meet once yearly to hear the Managing Directors annual report, and make decisions where necessary, in the best interest of Green Reef.

Mr. Miguel AlamillaDirector of Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Mr. Michael FoxCertified Public Accountant
Mr. Phillip LesliePresident of San Pedro Tour Guide Association
Dr. Jeff SearslandPresident & CEO of St. Matthews University
Ms. Catherine PazTourism Specialist
Dr. Ken MattesMarine Biologist / Instructor
Mr. Mito PazChairman/Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director
Mr. Omar ArceoSan Pedro Town Counselor

2.1.2 Technical Advisory Committee:

The Technical Advisory Committee will perform ad hoc advisory functions of project planning; and review of technical reports. The committee will meet on an as needed basis, and will make recommendations to the Board of Directors, on an as needed basis.

Mr. Mito PazManaging Director
Mrs. Melanie McFieldMarine Biologist
Mr. Godsman EllisLawyer
Mr. Chris BerlinScuba Instructor
Mr. Cliff KirtU.S. Navy, Retired
Mr. Roger CourtneyWashington D.C. Lobbyist
Mr. Thom GrimshawRegistered Consultant
Mr. Pedro PerezRegistered Consultant
Mr. Greg SmithRegistered Consultant
Mr. Earl YoungRegistered Consultant

The Green Reef Staff

Green Reef Staff will be responsible for the day to day conduct of operations, including, but not limited to the execution of commissioned monitoring and research activities; writing of proposals; editing of proposals; meeting & interacting with community members on issues relevant to Green Reef’s Mission Statement; participating in community affairs & projects as they pertain to marine and coastal environmental education.

Mito PazManaging Director
Jill HeppProject Director (Peace Corps Volunteer)
Fox Business ServicesBook Keeping

Green Reef
100 Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone: +501-226-3254 ext 243 Fax: +501-226-3264
Email [email protected]

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