In 2002, a group of philanthropists concerned with protecting the great marine treasures of the Eastern Tropical Pacific, made an exploratory trip to Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.
For this reason, they proposed a model for responsible resource use and management based, at the start, on support to control and surveillance activities, the establishment of regulations and standards, and the enhancement of legal procedures.
Thus in 2003, MarViva began operations in Costa Rica and Panama, supported by the Swiss philanthropist, Stephan Schmidheiny, whose financial fund made possible for the Foundation starts its protection and conservation work. Schmidheiny has excelled since then by his vision towards environmental conservation and social economic development, which have led to foster diverse and successful foundations in Latin America.
Since its start, MarViva counts with a strong multidisciplinary team composed of marine biologists, journalists, political scientists, lawyers, oceanographers, geographers, among others. Later in 2006 also set up operations in Colombia.
In its mission to lead for change, MarViva stands out for its marine focus, regional scope, recognized image, solid credibility, emphasis on multi-sectoral and community participation, and its science-based support.
MarViva is the marine conservation reference organization at the sites where it operates. Its work model is based on political advocacy, participatory processes, multi-sectoral partnerships and the use of communication tools to promote policies and standards, raise awareness and foster changes of attitude toward marine issues.