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Jun 6, 2018

TIDE is National Winner for Energy Globe Awards

The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) was awarded the National Energy Globe Award for its Community Researchers’ Programme and has qualified to compete in World Energy Globe Award. The programme, which started in 2012, has empowered twenty-five young community members to acquire skills in marine and terrestrial research, while it encourages sustainable awareness, as well as serves as an income generator. Over one hundred and eighty-two countries submitted over two-thousand projects for the Energy Globe Award and Belize was recognized in the youth category. This is the second time TIDE has gained recognition from the globally popular award. Today, we spoke with Programme Manager at TIDE, Joseph Villafranco, who told us more about the award-winning programme.


On the Phone: Joseph Villafranco, Programme Manager, TIDE

“This award is considered the most prestigious environmental prize worldwide. They look for sustainable environmental solutions on a world-wide scale. So, we submitted our community researchers’ programme for this award and at a country level we won for the best project in Belize. They award different countries at different levels as well, and this one is under the youth category. So, with this Community Researchers Programme, we basically call it an incentive-based career development for youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. So, we have different levels of training including Scuba Dive training and we also train them on fish and coral identification and they in turn help us to monitor these resources within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. Before the program started we used to collect data using our rangers and although they were familiar with the resources, they didn’t have any formal training, per se and there was also the issue of trust with the data, for example, when we share our data with the community of fishers, they had questions and to a certain extent couldn’t necessarily believe the information because they wanted to be a part of collecting that data. So, this program helped us not just to generate income for the youths but to build the trust between TIDE, the community and the fishing community.”


Now that TIDE has captured the national award for Belize, it goes on to compete for the global award in the youth category. That award will be given out sometime later this year. In 2015, TIDE won the global award with its Fresh Water Cup program that engaged students in environmental projects, as well as sports. According to the N.G.O., most of their trainees have moved on to secure better jobs as well as to pursue higher education. The Community Researchers Programme has an upcoming training, so you can reach out to TIDE for more information.

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