The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) and the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (TBZ) this afternoon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen synergies in order to promote wildlife conservation and ensure cooperation in public education efforts on the importance of wildlife in Belize.The signing ceremony was held at the Belize Zoo, on the George Price Highway, where Honourable Dr. Omar Figueroa signed on behalf of the Ministry, and Sharon Matola signed on behalf of the Belize Zoo.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Minister Figueroa, stated that the MoU is the first-ever agreement to be signed between the Belize Zoo and Government aimed at formalizing the wildlife conservation efforts of the Belize Zoo. This MoU also recognizes the Zoo’s key role in wildlife management as it seeks to restore, enhance and protect Belize’s wildlife and their habitats.
The MoU, which spans a period of five (5) years, officially permits the Belize Zoo to receive wildlife for rehabilitation, display native wildlife species and conduct public education. The binding agreement calls for the Belize Zoo to develop its five-year management and contingency plans, establish a rehabilitation center, submit operational and inventory reports and collaborate with the Forest Department to share expertise.
Both parties recognized that one of the most important components of the MoU is the collaborative partnership in public education, whereby both parties will seek to increase public awareness and appreciation for wildlife as an important part of the Belize’s cultural and ecological landscapes.
For more information, please contact the Forest Department at 822-2079 or at [email protected]