Skip to main content

SEA Single Investment

PRESS RELEASE

SEA Single Investment

 

August 7, 2018 PACT recently traveled to the Placencia Peninsula to catch up with the Southern Environmental Association who are implementing a PACT Single Investment Project entitled “Improving the management of Laughing Bird Caye National Park and the financial stability of SEA”. The Investment, valued at BZ$65,726.00, commenced in March 2017 and is expected to culminate in September 2018. As its title indicates, the project aimed at strengthening SEA’s financial stability via improved management, infrastructure, building human resource capacity and expanding the potential for resource mobilization.
 

During the visit, PACT accompanied by the SEA Executive Director and other personnel, traveled to the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, Little Water Caye and the Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Through this project, SEA targeted the execution of two financial mechanisms from its existing business plan to improve its financial stability. On Laughing Bird Caye, project funds were used to establish an electronic point of sale system that now enables visitors to use credit cards as a payment option at the LBCNP gift shop. Furthermore, the LBCNP gift shop has also been restocked twice; a good indication of the rate at which the gift shop’s inventory is turning over. From these mechanisms, SEA have already met and are on course to surpass the revenue target of 10% of the annual protected areas budget.
 

To complement this, SEA has also made considerable investment in building the capacity of 15 staff members. Through this project, Small Business Management (Entrepreneurship), Inventory Management, Customer Service and Tour Guide training were completed by SEA staff and directly applied to the management of the LBCNP Gift shop and other operations within the areas managed by SEA.
Furthermore, the Ranger Station at Little Water Caye has been fully refurbished through this project. While the facility was initially constructed as a conservation post for SEA’s enforcement team, the facility’s housing capacity and amenities have been expanded to comfortably accommodate 15 persons. This has improved SEA’s ability to attract universities, researchers and groups interested in visiting or working in the adjacent protected areas. Following refurbishment, SEA has recorded a marked increase in revenue from accommodations at the ranger station.
 

Lastly, the PACT Single Investment Project financed the development of a Resource Mobilization Strategy for SEA. This strategy will support SEA in its strategic fundraising ventures and will guide the SEA BOD, Management and Staff on capacity enhancement and institutional growth.
 

PACT takes this opportunity to congratulate the Southern Environmental Association on the many successes of this project. We also thank the SEA BOD and Staff for their dedication, engagement and prudent management of this PACT investment.

 

###

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. PACT contributes to the effective management of Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS) through strategic partnerships and high impact investments. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

Contact: 822-3637 | info@pactbelize.org | www.pactbelize.org | www.facebook.com/pactbelize/

No Plastic No Styrofoam Summer Camp

PRESS RELEASE

No Plastic No Styrofoam Summer Camp

 

July 24, 2018 This past weekend PACT was on hand to participate in a clean-up campaign in the Village of Bullet Tree Falls as part of the “1st No plastic No Styrofoam Summer Camp” being co-financed by PACT. The clean-up activities are aimed at promoting public awareness on community cleanliness and environmental protection. It is expected that the over 30 children and their parents, who participated in this segment of the summer camp, gained first-hand experience on the negative and harmful impacts that pollution has on the environment and on the role they can play in minimizing those impacts in their community. We commend their efforts and encourage similar initiatives in communities across Belize.
 

###

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. PACT contributes to the effective management of Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS) through strategic partnerships and high impact investments. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

Contact: 822-3637 | info@pactbelize.org | www.pactbelize.org | www.facebook.com/pactbelize/

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Large Grant

PRESS RELEASE

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Large Grant

 

July 20, 2018 This week PACT travelled to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to catch up on an ongoing Large Grant with the Fisheries Department entitled “Hol Chan Marine Reserve Zone Expansion Project”. The implementation of this investment commenced in May 2017 and will see a total of $349,720.00 invested in the reserve over a 2-year period. The overall objective of the project is to expand the HCMR’s Enforcement, Tourism, Environmental Outreach and Education, Research and Monitoring Programs into its newly defined annex zones. 

During this visit, PACT had an opportunity to visit the annex zones called Mexico Rocks (Zones G & H), Zone E & F and Shark Alley. These sites/zones are very remarkable snorkelling sites that have a diverse sea life. Since the establishment of these annexed zones, Hol Chan has seen a remarkable 90% increase in tourist visitation to the area. The project is therefore, providing for the constant monitoring and patrol of these annexed zones by the Fisheries Department HCMR Enforcement Unit. To complement the patrols, a new vessel and engine has been procured along with necessary enforcement equipment. Additionally, the new zones have been properly demarcated and mooring buoys installed for tourism purposes. 

As it relates to its Environmental Outreach and Education activities, to date brochures and posters have been developed and the engagement of visitors and resource users remain an ongoing activity within the HCMR. This naturally includes the ongoing sensitization of fisher-folk and tourism stakeholders about the annex zones and regulations.  

Through this project, an alternative livelihood program has also been established. This far, 13 fishermen have been trained and certified as fly fishing and snorkelling tour guides. Furthermore, a commercial fish tagging program has been initiated in the annex zones in order to gather distribution data to support improved management of the HCMR. Both programs have thus far been successful; owed partly to the positive support from commercial fishermen and tour guides. 

PACT takes this opportunity to commend the Fisheries Department, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve management and enforcement staff, project beneficiaries and wider stakeholders on current successes and for project implementation remaining on target.
 

###

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. PACT contributes to the effective management of Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS) through strategic partnerships and high impact investments. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

Contact: 822-3637 | info@pactbelize.org | www.pactbelize.org | www.facebook.com/pactbelize/

south-cebada-chiquibul-post-cover

New South Cebada Conservation Post

NEW SOUTH CEBADA CONSERVATION POST FOR THE CHIQUIBUL NATIONAL PARK

 

June 15, 2018 — (Belmopan, BZE) Yesterday, June 14, 2018, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration (MAFFESDI), the Ministry of National Security, and the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) inaugurated a new Conservation Post in the South Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. 

Government, NGO and Financing Partners at the Inauguration of the Cebada CP, June 14, 2018  
On hand for the inauguration was a delegation of Ministers, Chief Executive Officers, and Heads of Department led by Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Environment and Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. The South Cebada Conservation Post was financed through the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII) at a cost of BZ$115,000. The CFII was launched in 2016 and represents the single largest investment in the protection and conservation of Belize’s biodiversity. 

 
The $2.28 Million being invested by PACT and the Environmental Management Fund is aimed at addressing key threats from illegal land use practices in the Chiquibul Forest by strengthening multi-institutional capacity. The CFII is being implemented by a consortium of partners, namely the FCD, Ya’axché Conservation Trust, the Belize Forest Department, and the Belize Defence Force. The CFII investment focus spans the Chiquibul National Park, Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Vaca Forest Reserve, Columbia River Forest Reserve, Bladen Nature Reserve, and Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

The Conservation Post at South Cebada is 20’ x 33’ in size and was designed to accommodate an enforcement team of 12. Its main features include sleeping quarters, outdoor kitchen, hygiene facilities, a water catchment system, a photovoltaic solar power system and a 25’ lookout tower. This is the second Conservation Post financed through the CFII with the Caballo CP built and inaugurated just last year. Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, during his address noted that “with the two conservation posts financed through the CFII the number of CPs in the Chiquibul now stands at seven (7).

Cebada Conservation Post, June 14, 2018


Coupled with the enforcement stations in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and Bladen Nature Reserve, these CPs will form a more robust network of permanent outposts in the Chiquibul Forest geared towards biodiversity protection and security”. While the conservation posts and access roads have added much needed infrastructure in the Chiquibul, the CFII has contributed far more at improving the dialogue and coordination among consortium partners. The Initiative continues to contribute necessary human resources and capacity. From the consortium alone, a total of 34 trained enforcement personnel has been made available to support biodiversity conservation in the Chiquibul along with the BDF and Police. As a direct output, a 43% increase in ranger force translating to at least 50% increase in enforcement efficiency has been realized after just the first year of implementation. PACT would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all consortium members, enforcement teams, and partner agencies for their service to this country through their hard work and their pledge to defend the biodiversity and integrity of these protected areas. Also, we would like to express our gratitude to the FCD, Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of National Security for key technical and logistical support towards the success of the inauguration ceremony and the wider initiative.

###

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. PACT contributes to the effective management of Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS) through strategic partnerships and high impact investments. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

Community Engagement Santa Familia RC School

PRESS RELEASE

Community Engagement Santa Familia RC School

 

May 25, 2018 Last week PACT visited the Santa Familia Roman Catholic Primary School in Santa Familia Village, Cayo District. We were at the school as part of education week and made a presentation on PACT and the Protected Areas of Belize to over 100 students from the lower and upper divisions. We are very happy to have been able to share and interact with these bright and energetic children. We thank teacher Nasaly Calix and others at the school for the invitation. Special thanks and kudos to Monica Coe and Luwin Tzib, two of our PACT scholars at the University of Belize, for participating and leading parts of the presentation.
 

###

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. PACT contributes to the effective management of Belize’s National Protected Areas System (NPAS) through strategic partnerships and high impact investments. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

Contact: 822-3637 | info@pactbelize.org | www.pactbelize.org | www.facebook.com/pactbelize/

New Caballo Conservation Post for Chiquibul National Park

NEW CABALLO CONSERVATION POST FOR THE CHIQUIBUL NATIONAL PARK

July 31, 2017— (Belmopan, BZE) Through funding from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and the Environmental Management Fund (EMF), a new conservation post has been constructed in the Chiquibul National Park at a cost of BZ $115,000. Today, an official inauguration was held for the Caballo Conservation Post after which a tour of the new facilities was provided to guests. Present at the inauguration were Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) as well as CEO in the Ministry and PACT Board Chair Dr. Percival Cho, and CEO in the Ministry of Defense Felix Enriquez among others. The new conservation post is part of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII) that was launched in December 2016. The main objective of the initiative is to increase the management and enforcement presence within the Chiquibul, Columbia, and Vaca forest areas. PACT Board Chair Dr. Cho, in his welcome remarks, highlighted that “the Caballo conservation post is but one part of a larger goal aimed at encouraging multi-institutional strategy and strengthening the capacity for joint law enforcement and protection of the Chiquibul.

Over the years, the Western border of Belize along the Chiquibul and surrounding areas have been subject to illegal gold panning, logging, and poaching among other activities. PACT and the EMF’s investment of BZ $2.28 million in the CFII aims to minimize the effects of illegal cross-border activities by increasing the management presence and enforcement within the Chiquibul. The CFII also brings together four key partners working in the most afflicted areas. Known as the CFII Consortium, beneficiaries include the Belize Defense Force (BDF), the Belize Forest Department, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Ya’axché Conservation Trust. Over the course of the Program, the CFII will facilitate the construction of two new conservation posts to allow for increased enforcement presence in the area, as well as the creation of access roads to alleviate the problem of limited accessibility for patrolling and monitoring. To further assist with patrolling and monitoring, under the CFII, a total of six new vehicles at a value of BZ $450,146.30 were handed over to the Consortium in May of this year.

PACT would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all consortium members, enforcement teams, and partner agencies for their service to this country through their hard work and their pledge to defend the biodiversity and integrity of these protected areas. Also, we would like to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development for key technical support and contribution towards the success of this initiative.

BZD $450K to Enforce Protection in the Chiquibul and Surrounding Forests Areas

BZD $450,146.30 IN SIX NEW VEHICLES FOR ENFORCEMENT IN THE CHIQUIBUL AND SURROUNDING FOREST AREAS

May 29, 2017— (Belmopan, BZ) Today, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) hosted an official vehicle handover ceremony in Belmopan. Six new vehicles, valued at a total of $450,146.30 were handed over to the 4 beneficiaries of the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII). The CFII Consortium includes the Belize Defence Force (BDF), the Belize Forest Department, Ya’axché Conservation Trust and Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). The BDF received three new vehicles while the remaining three organizations received one vehicle each.

The CFII was launched in December, 2016; at $2.28 million it represents the largest single investment that PACT has made to four agencies for a joint cause. The main objective of the Initiative is to increase the management presence and strengthen enforcement within the Chiquibul and the surrounding forest areas along our Western border. These areas consist mainly of the Columbia, Vaca and Chiquibul Forests. The effects of illegal activities along the Belize-Guatemala border represent a threat to both the biodiversity of these areas, as well as the safety. In his address today, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD), Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa explained that the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative “is part of a larger $15.8 million investment by the Government of Belize, to stimulate the protection and conservation of our natural resources in the Chiquibul and surrounding areas. It is also in line with state measures to provide for a sustained level of protection along our borders.”

Over the next three years, the CFII will also contribute to the establishment of two new conservation posts, and the installation of access roads. This will allow the organizations to increase their patrols throughout these key areas. Speaking on behalf of the Belize Defence Force, Commander David Jones expressed his commitment to continue working with each of the other beneficiaries. He noted that the vehicles are “a very welcome gift that will go a long way in regards to effectiveness and efficiency in patrolling our border and ensuring our territorial integrity and sovereignty in particular in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve.”

PACT thanks the members of the CFII Consortium for the commitment and invaluable service they provide through the management and protection of these protected areas.

###

For more information on Ya’axche Conservation Trust, visit: http://www.yaaxche.org/
For more information on Friends for Conservation and Development, visit: http://www.fcdbelize.org/

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. PACT contributes to the sustainable management and development of Belize’s natural and cultural heritage by providing effective funding support to protected areas. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

PACT Awards 3 New Grants in Capacity Building and Environmental Support

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PACT AWARDS 3 NEW GRANTS IN CAPACITY BUILDING AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUPPORT

May 12, 2017— The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) is proud to announce to the public and our stakeholders that 3 new investments have been made for the month of May. PACT has awarded two Professional Development Grants and one Environmental Support Grant for a total value of BZ $24,300.00. The first Professional Development Grant was awarded to the Ya’axché Conservation Trust at BZ $9,550.00 to enable their Science Director and Protected Areas Program Director to participate in the ‘28th International Congress for Conservation Biology’ in Cartagena, Columbia. The second Professional Development Grant was awarded to the Belize Forest Department at BZ $10,000.00 for the participation of one of their Foresters in the ‘2017 International Seminar on Protected Area Management’ to be held in Montana, USA. The third grant issued was an Environmental Support Grant to Caye Caulker’s La Isla Cariñosa Academy (LICA) at a total value of BZ $4,750.00. Funds from this grant will be used to allow for LICA to carry out its “Education Week 2017” around activities that teach students the benefits of conservation and proper waste disposal on the island.

Ya’axché Conservation Trust – $9,550.00
Ya’axché Conservation Trust works with communities in and around Bladen Nature Reserve and Columbia River Forest Reserve to develop capacity and advocate for the safeguarding and sustainable use of land and natural resources. They currently co-manage two protected areas in Southern Belize. Over the past two years, Ya’axché have been using the Spatial Monitoring and Report Tool (SMART) as a part of its wildlife monitoring strategy. By participating in this Congress, it is expected the knowledge acquired and shared over the course of the Congress will allow for improved decision making and innovation in the field of wildlife and biodiversity management.

Belize Forest Department – $10,000.00
The Belize Forest Department was established in 1935 and serves as the regulatory agency responsible for the management of terrestrial protected areas. In some cases, they are aided by NGO co-managing counterparts. By attending this Congress, the Forest Department will be building the capacity of its in-house Forester in proper protected areas management techniques and strategies for long-term sustainable use and enjoyment of protected areas. Main themes to be covered at the seminar include: integrated planning for protected areas; community involvement and transboundary issues in the face of climate change among others.

La Isla Cariñosa Academy (LICA) – $4,750.00
LICA is a private school located in Caye Caulker Village. Through this grant, students will be introduced to themes that contribute to a healthy and clean environment, which benefits the community as well as protected areas. Activities to be carried out under this grant will include site visits to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve in addition to painting and placement of garbage bins. The latter is an especially significant feature because bins will be placed in the school zone area of Caye Caulker. At present, there are no bins within this school zone. In doing so, students will be actively promoting a clean environment, through proper waste disposal.

PACT takes this opportunity to congratulate all recipients, and to thank them for contributing to greater conservation capacity building and education awareness!

###

For more information on Ya’axché, visit: http://www.yaaxche.org/

For more information on the Belize Forest Department, visit: http://www.forestdepartment.gov.bz/
For more information on La Isla Cariñosa Academy, visit: https://www.facebook.com/La-Isla-Carinosa-Academy

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. PACT contributes to the sustainable management and development of Belize’s natural and cultural heritage by providing effective funding support to protected areas. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

BZ $1.1 Million to Protected Areas Managers

PACT REVEALS TWO NEW CATEGORIES OF FUNDING AND AWARDS BZ 1.1 MILLION TO PROTECTED AREAS MANAGERS

Belize City, Belize. (Monday, 27 March. 2017) –Today the Trust held its Annual Investment Award Ceremony, handing over 1.1 million dollars under two new categories of funding – the single and multiple investment categories. Speaking to the progress made since last year’s Award Ceremony, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration, Dr. Omar Figueroa informed that the new investment categories of funding “signals the shift in the way in which PACT [supports] proposals geared towards institutional and governance strengthening, financial sustainability and resource mobilization; and protected areas management plans”.

The Ceremony also saw the new CEO and PACT Board Chair, Dr. Percival Cho – engage stakeholders echoing Hon. Minister Omar Figueroa’s optimism that PACT will continue to grow to meet the challenges of financing protected areas. Speaking specifically to the new investment categories of funding, Dr. Cho remarked that “the new investment angle complements the equally new opportunity for PACT to fund up to twenty percent of an organization’s budgeted staffing and office costs related to carrying out a project…thereby allowing [CBOs and NGOs] to invest a greater portion of their energies in fundraising initiatives to advance their work on the ground”.

This year PACT awarded a total of five grants under its ‘single’ and ‘multiple’ categories. The ‘Single’ category carries a maximum funding envelope of BZ $100,000. This year, three single grants were awarded to the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD), Southern Environmental Association (SEA) and Programme for Belize. The ‘Multiple’ category awards funding to multiple recipients under one, singular project area with a funding envelope of BZ $400,000; recipients under this category are the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) and Ya’axche Conservation Trust, alongside the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE).

The shift in this year’s investment cycle reflects a move towards a holistic and collaborative approach to protected areas management. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) extends its warmest well wishes to all the investment award recipients and wishes them every success in the execution of their projects!

Entering La Selva Maya: The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon

La Selva Maya

‘La Selva Maya’ (the Maya forest) is today recognized as one of the largest, intact rainforests within Central America. An impartial witness to the passing ages and actions of men, it has outlived both the ancient Maya groups of the classic period and the early twentieth-century logging camps that had once traversed its length. Today, the Chiquibul is formally recognized as a protected area and forms a key part of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. In addition to serving as a physical record of the various periods of Belize’s history, it is a natural habitat that supports the biological diversity of the region’s plants and animals. Unfortunately, the biological diversity the Chiquibul supports has also made it a target for poachers, illegal logging, mineral extraction and the extraction of non-timber forest products.

The Challenge

Over the weekend, PACT organized a team of 5 staff members and sponsored two members of Channel 5’s media house to enter the first annual Chiquibul 20/40k Marathon to raise awareness for the Chiquibul and support their friends in conservation. The marathon trail ran through forest cover – on medium to course terrain – starting off from Guacamayo bridge through to Las Cuevas Research Station, some 12.5 miles away. Participants were given the option of entering as a 20 K marathon challenger, or 40 K challenger. A special competition was created for rangers of protected areas to also compete. Organized by the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic (BWRC), the concept of the Challenge was simple: engage the public by offering an opportunity to connect with nature and celebrate fitness while fundraising and directing attention to the causes of both the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) – who co-manage the Chiquibul Forest and National Park, and the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic, who between them manage the Scarlet Macaw Protection Program.

This being the first annual Chiquibul Challenge Marathon, the response was triple what organizers, Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand and Justin Ford of the BWRC had expected. Speaking at the award ceremony yesterday, Dr. Isabel was optimistic and grateful for the overwhelming support from the local NGO and business community, as well as private citizens. Rafael Manzanero, the Director of FCD, was equally bolstered by the response of the public for the first initiative. PACT, for its part, was happy to participate as both a sponsor and support to raise awareness for both of these organizations that together, champion the cause of protection and conservation or Belize’s natural heritage.