On Thursday, April 4, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, during which it awarded over $800,000.00 in new project grants! PACT awarded Small and Medium-Sized Grants for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows:
*Belize Fishermen Cooperatives Association (BFCA) | $50,000 - Improvement of marine biodiversity through empowerment of fishers
*Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) | $138,554.18 - Targeting Agriculture incursions through monitoring and enforcement
*Programme for Belize (PFB) | $68,850.00 - Enhancing the protection of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA)
*Southern Environmental Association (SEA) | $200,000.00 - Maintaining an Effective Enforcement presence within the Southern Barrier Reef Complex (SBRC)
*Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) | $200,000.00 - Payne’s Creek National Park Conservation and sustainable development
*Ya’axché Conservation Trust | $151,267.00 - Promoting Evidence-based Integrated Landscape Management in the Maya Golden Landscape
The Marine Reserve Network of Belize will see empowered fishers in the conservation, protection and sustainable use of the marine resources from the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System through PACT’s grant to the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association (BFCA).
Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) will work to “Develop GIS Capability to monitor land use change” in the Chiquibul National Park. Through this project, FCD will continue to ensure efficient monitoring and enforcement execution along Chiquibul’s western border. FCD will also socialize and raise the visibility of agriculture incursions issues.
Programme for Belize (PFB), seeks to provide adequate transportation and equipment to the ranger team for effective patrolling and protection of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) to prevent, address and control illegal activities in the protected area.
The Southern Environmental Association’s (SEA) project focuses on the protected areas in the Southern Barrier Reef Complex (SBRC). The objective of the project is to reduce illegal activities in the SBRC, improve management and train personnel under SEA’s protected areas program in weapon handling and safety, self defense tactics, and basic first aid skills.
The Payne’s Creek National Park (PCNP) in the Toledo District will see reduced frequency and severity of illegal extraction and wildfires with the project by the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment (TIDE). The project also seeks to have 15 or more members of the Southern Belize Fire Working Group and buffer communities apply enhanced capacity to manage fire in and around PCNP. TIDE will work to increase the number of breeding pairs of the endangered yellow-headed parrot within PCNP and put measures in place to reverse the decline in the population of the critically endangered goliath grouper. By the end of the project, approximately 1500 key stakeholders (resource users and youth) within 15 communities in Toledo should have enhanced understanding of Toledo’s protected areas.
Ya’axché Conservation Trust will work effortlessly in Bladen Nature Reserve, Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, Columbia River Forest and buffering communities of the Maya Golden Landscape “Promoting Evidence-based Integrated Landscape Management.” By the end of the project, Ya’axché predicts a 30 percent decline in illegal incursions and extraction of timber by effectively managing enforcement in the protected area. Ya’axché will also work to increase environmental awareness of the value of healthy ecosystems (particularly towards bird conservation) for tourism and ecosystem services among farmers and community members.
PACT is confident that these grants will have great impacts on conservation in Belize and thanks all recipients for their hard work and commitment to their respective protected areas. For more information please visit www.pactbelize.org.