Earlier this month, three organizations in the Toledo District successfully closed projects to help advance the conservation and natural resources management agenda for Belize. The organizations are the C’ac’alenel Car Sa Nima (San Miguel River Fish Watchers), the Rio Blanco Mayan Association (RBMA) and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM).
Through the project “Developing and Restoring Buffer Zones along the Rio Grande” the C’ac’alenel Car Sa Nima demarcated a 66 feet buffer zone; constructed walking trails from San Miguel Village to Tiger Cave along with 8 rest stops/shelters; planted native trees and plants in the area that have been deforested; established working relationships with resorts, hotels and tour operators to increase visitation and promote the area. C’ac’alenel Car Sa Nima’s next plan of action is to seek financial assistance to conduct archaeological study of Tiger Cave, develop an environmental awareness program, and work with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MNRE) towards establishing a public reserve along a portion of the Rio Grande River.
The Rio Blanco Mayan Association (RBMA), through the project “Park Management and Community Outreach” continued to build its relationship with the communities and schools through educational programs. They provided solar powered computer systems to primary schools in Santa Elena and Santa Cruz. RMBA also strengthened park maintenance and monitoring by instituting a 24 hour park monitoring program. This program resulted in a reduction in illegal activity within the Rio Blanco National Park. RBMA is now seeking to establish a structured enforcement program (ranger training) and upgrade the infrastructure within the national park. Additionally, there are plans for institutional strengthening of the organization (board training) as well as plans to conduct awareness campaigns geared towards increasing visitation.
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) completed the project “Revision of the Sarstoon Temash National Park Management Plan”. The SATIIM spent the last year assessing the progress of the last management plan as well as preparing the new management plan for the Sartstoon Temash National Park (STNP). The plan has been submitted to the Forest Department for approval. In addition, SATIIM executed environmental education and outreach activities in conjunction with the buffer communities and primary schools.
These three projects were primarily supported by the PACT Trust and the PACT Foundation and contribute to the development of protected areas in Southern Belize. PACT congratulates these three organizations for successful completion of these projects!
For more information about the PACT or the PACT Foundation email email@example.com.
PACT was formally established in January 1996 with the passing of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust Act, No. 15 of 1995, creating the institution as a Statutory Board. The functions of PACT are to encourage and promote, for the benefit and enjoyment of the present and future generations of the people of Belize, the provision, protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural resources of Belize. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.
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