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Sep 27, 2016

Biodiversity Finance Initiative Launched in Belize

Another initiative was launched this morning at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City.  The United Nations Development Programme, with support from the EU and other partners, is financing a Biodiversity Finance Initiative, BIOFIN.  A one point six million dollar package over the next two years will be invested on a biodiversity finance strategy to ensure that protected areas are properly managed.   News Five’s Andrea Polanco has the story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) Belize Project was launched today in Belize City.  The Initiative, being implemented by the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Sustainable Development, seeks to invest over a million dollars to help identify finance gaps and develop a national strategy for biodiversity financing:

 

Colin Young

Dr. Colin Young, C.E.O., Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development

“BIOFIN will invest about one point six million dollars in Belize over the next three years. The outcomes from the project will include a feasible and innovative biodiversity plan and strategy that will, upon its implementation, I hope, will assist us to mobilize significant resources to implement among other things, our biodiversity strategy and action plan.”

 

Young says that the one point six million dollars couldn’t have come at a better time – when the financial need of the protected areas network system is critical:

 

Dr. Colin Young

“If our protected areas will continue to provide refuge for our biodiversity. We must find sustainable and innovative financing to manage them. Of course, our protected areas continue to provide valuable ecosystem services to our society and our economy. This is where BIOFIN can add value. The investment from BIOFIN is both timely and opportune. In 2011, the financial gap was estimated to be about twenty million Belize per year to perform only those mission critical, management of our hundred plus protected areas. If we want to manage the protected areas at optimal level, we require additional forty million Belize dollars per year or four hundred million dollars per decade. And this is only protected areas.”

 

Since Belize officially joined BIOFIN in 2015, the project will be implemented over a two year period, starting this year. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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