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PACT Scholar Engagement

PRESS RELEASE

PACT SCHOLAR ENGAGEMENT

 

September 20, 2018 A year ago, PACT, through a partnership with the University of Belize, granted a total of $50,000.00 to provide five Bachelor’s Degree scholarships in various programs including Natural Resource Management, Math, Biology and Social Work. In addition to financing their academic programmes, PACT has also implemented a plan to engage our scholars in the work of PACT and the wider conservation sector. By doing so, PACT aims to mould not only academic but also well-rounded, experienced professionals that can support Belize’s sustainable development now and in the future.

 

A part of this engagement plan includes the placement of these scholars as interns among protected areas management organizations and conservation partners. This summer PACT supported two of our scholars, Maria Pech and Monica Coe to complete internships at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and the Ya’axché Conservation Trust, respectively. Furthermore, another scholar Mr. Luwin Tzib is completing a two-month internship here at PACT providing Data Entry and Administrative support.

 

As the Coastal Planning and Monitoring Intern (CPMI) at the CZMAI Maria’s primary responsibility was to develop a project to improve monitoring of the coastal zone in accordance with the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan. Monica on the other hand was the Botany Intern at Ya’axché, where her primary responsibility was to assist in the re-censusing of two 1-hectare Permanent Sample Plots (PSP) located within the Bladen Nature Reserve. While Luwin is currently providing our Conservation Investment Department with administrative, data entry and tactical communications support.

 

It is our expectation that the skills built and experience gained through these internships will go a long way in building arguable the most valuable resource available to the conservation sector, its human resources. We take this opportunity to congratulate all our PACT-UB scholars on a successful 2017-2018 academic year.

 

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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/

Multiple Investment Project Awarded

PRESS RELEASE

MULTIPLE INVESTMENT PROJECT AWARDED

 

October 8, 2018 PACT recently traveled to Punta Gorda Town to close a Multiple Investment Project awarded last year to three partnering organizations, Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axche’), the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), for a total of BZ$399,992.00. The project was entitled “A holistic approach to effective management of the protected areas system in Southern Belize”. This Multiple Investment aimed at improving management effectiveness across three protected areas in southern Belize through capacity building, institutional strengthening, improved enforcement and fire management. These protected areas included the Paynes Creek National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve.

 

Through this Multiple Investment, BAS, TIDE and Ya’axche’ staff received capacity building training in effective reporting, communications skills, green laws and case filing, and the collection and analysis of SMART enforcement data. As a result, an integrated enforcement protocol and a SMART Technical Training Manual was developed for the organizations and a Data Sharing Agreement was signed by all three organizations. This has contributed to better coordinated and efficient enforcement programs in the three protected areas. Additionally, four joint patrols were carried out along with the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department and the Forest Department, laying the foundation for improved collaborative work with these regulatory agencies.

 

A major threat being faced by all three PAs is escaped fires from unsustainable agriculture. Therefore, this investment also focused on increasing the capacity of staff and members from communities buffering the PCNP, CBWS and GSCP in fire management as well as building local awareness on fire hazards. Technical training carried out focused on fire management regulations, firefighting techniques and managing prescribed burns. A total of 20 persons, including PA staff, regulatory agency staff, and community members, were trained in Basic Fire Management Techniques and will now be able to better manage fires and jointly carry out prescribed burns. An aggressive fire awareness outreach campaign including visits to schools and buffering communities in the Toledo District and presentations on National Radio and TV shows, reaching an audience of over 5,000, was carried out. The execution of these capacity building and awareness initiatives as well as the procurement of necessary fire management equipment has resulted in improved fire management capacity within the PAs.

 

PACT takes this opportunity to congratulate the leading implementer, Ya’axché as well as the other two partnering organizations, BAS and TIDE on the successes of this project.

 

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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/

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.

 

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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/