Capacity Building and Outreach
Investing in our partners and the future of iguanas
The future survival of wild iguana populations rests with the local communities with whom they share their habitat. The IIF believes and is committed to the vision that wild iguanas and people can comfortably live side-by-side, promoting and protecting each other. By identifying local champions who are dedicated to protecting iguanas and empowering them with the tools necessary to become effective stewards, the future of both people, iguanas, and the entire ecosystem in which they live will benefit. Likewise, by increasing awareness for iguanas and their habitats among younger generations we can promote a sense of pride and value for iguanas in the community, creating more local champions to lead conservation efforts far into the future.
Over the years the IIF has supported training workshops and capacity building opportunities for local conservation groups throughout iguana range countries, giving priority to grants that include a strong local community-based approach, such as in Jamaica, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. The IIF supports an annual Iguanas and Conservation Workshop that takes place each year on Roatan, Honduras, bringing together future iguana champions from all over the world to learn general conservation and management theory as well as field techniques for studying iguanas.
The longest running outreach event is the Anegada IguanaFest that started in 2012. This event centers around the release of iguanas back into the wild and brings all the school children on the island together for a fun filled day of iguana activities. The IIF also supports outreach and education events on Utila Island in Honduras, an on-going school program in Guatemala, and a student environmental program in Jamaica. The IIF is also proud to support the annual meeting of the IUCN SSC Iguana Specialist Group which brings iguana conservation experts together to exchange ideas, plan strategies and projects, and catalyze new conservation initiative