PACT Awards $2.2 Million to Four Grantees for Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative
Belize City, Belize. (Tuesday 13 Dec. 16) – Honourable Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development alongside the Chair of the Board of Directors of PACT, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Colin Young awarded $2.28 million in grant funding towards the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII). The Grant Award Ceremony was held at the Cahal Pech Room, Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City. Grantees included the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Ya’axche Conservation Trust, the Belize Defence Force, and the Forest Department.
Collectively, the grantees bear the task of safeguarding the Chiquibul, Vaca, Colombia and Bladen Forests. In August of this year, the Government of Belize revealed plans for an overall investment of $15.8 million in 5 contiguous protected areas in order to safeguard our natural and cultural patrimony as well as minimize threats and encroachments to our sovereign territorial borders. The Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII) is the Government of Belize’s financial initiative for the conservation and protection of our natural resources.
The Chiquibul Forest is one of the largest protected areas. The plant diversity of the Chiquibul is vast, hosting over 300 species of trees, 452 species of herbs, and 109 orchid species. It represents 7.7% of our national territory. Along with the areas surrounding it, it forms a critical habitat for several threatened and endangered species such as jaguars, scarlet macaws and the black howler monkey. This investment represents the largest given to four agencies for a joint venture, in the history of PACT – a gesture of faith in the future of conservation and a gift that will continue to benefit Belizeans for many years to come.
Photo © Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT)
L to R – Martin Alegria (Chief Environment Officer – Department of Environment); Rafael Manzanero (Executive Director – FCD); David Jones (Commander Brigadier General – Belize Defense Force); Felix Enriquez (Chief Executive Officer – Ministry of Defense); Hon. Omar Figueroa (Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development); Dr. Colin Young (Chief Executive Officer- Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development); Javier Chan (Board of Directors – Ya’axche); Dennisia Francisco (Executive Director – PACT); Karla Hernandez (Protected Areas Program Director – Ya’axche); Said Gutierrez (Science Director – Ya’axche); Christina Garcia (Executive Director – Ya’axche)