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Apr 12, 2016

Monitoring the Chiquibul Forest Remains a Challenge for B.D.F. and FCD Rangers

Rafael Manzanero

The Friends for Conservation and Development is responsible for the monitoring and management of the Chiquibul, an area roughly the size of Belize City. It’s a challenging task, to say the least, and Manzanero says that part of the challenge is that the dynamics of encroachment are constantly changing.

 

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

“The situation with Chiquibul is always one that fluctuates and it is always dynamic. Whenever we start to look at the set of threats and challenges in the Chiquibul, if you ask us like today what is really the scenario, for today the illegal logging is slow, the xate activity is slow, the milpa farms is high…in fact if we start really to compare the one for last year and this year, apparently from what we are observing right now as the dry weather is on and will be on for the next weeks and months probably, it seems that it’s become more dramatic than last year, so milpa farms is really a major problem in the Chiquibul right along the border right now. The idea of the O.A.S.…I’m not so sure what exactly would be their role in that context, but I think as we start really to monitor on the ground, I know certainly it is one which has always been a challenge in those area. The ability of more of the communities in Guatemala to be informed, even though that has occurred in the past, until the last couple of weeks there is an ongoing message being thrown out to the public in Guatemala that there are new laws and rules in Belize. You can be charged up to twenty thousand dollars for finding anybody doing illegal farming for example. I would not really want to mention anything about the O.A.S., because I don’t really know what would be the specific role of the O.A.S. I that area, but I only need to say that that zone, in fact even beyond the adjacency zone, if we really start to look at that one kilometer, then certainly we do have the problems of illegal milpa farming.”

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