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Jul 29, 2010

APAMO says bidding for co-management will undo progress

wilbur sabido

The Association of Protected Management Areas APAMO is the umbrella institution for most non-governmental organizations that help to protect and preserve fragile ecosystems on land and sea.  Two of its most vocal members include the Belize Audubon Society which manages the Blue Hole National Park, Guanacaste National Park and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Satiim which currently manages the Sarstoon Temash National Park. APAMO and all its members have been waiting for official co-management agreements to be established for the sites that they currently manage. But that has not been forthcoming. This past Wednesday Wilbur Sabido, the Chief Forest Officer, revealed that he expects co-management agreements to be worked out before the end of 2010. The problem is that a bidding process is being proposed, which essentially means that depending on financing and available expertise, some NGO’s may lose the site that they have been managing.

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer

“It should be before the end of 2010.  We hope before the next three, probably four months. There is a proposal on the table. The forest department has looked at it. It has done its series of consultations with NGO partners. What’s left is to have one final sit down session with APAMO and its membership if that’s their general prerogative. And to come to an agreement as to whether or not our changes to the co management template is acceptable. Once that’s done the Government of Belize, will then seek to consult with the other stakeholders, public private sector to see if in as far as co-management partners are concerned to see if there is any interest by other entities who may also want to co-manage protected areas. So one of the general directions that the ministry of natural resources is going in , is to possibly tender out or submit to a bidding process to those entities that are interested in managing protected areas for them to submit bids for areas that they are interested in.”

Jose Sanchez

Ok. That sounds like an organization or NGO that’s currently managing an area may not have the bid and may not be managing that particular area next year?

Wilbur Sabido

“Well it may be. APAMO I think recognizes that. APAMO did a very extensive assessment of existing co-management agreement structures.  And along with APAMO we have recognized there needs to be criteria established for us to be able to determine whether or not a co-management partner is able and capable to effectively manage protected areas. We have to be realistic about whether or not there exists technical, administrative capacity within certain NGO’s for them to co-manage areas along with the government of Belize.”

APAMO’s coordinator, Yvette Alonzo, says that the local NGOs and CBOs have invested not only significant time and resources into the management of these areas, but it has taken a lot of effort to gain support from the buffering communities to respect the protected area regulations.

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1 Response for “APAMO says bidding for co-management will undo progress”

  1. Victor Manuel says:

    Let us dissect what APAMO said..”we have invested…”. In the first place when they sought donation (money) this money was indirectly slated for the benefit to the people and government of Belize. There is a law of financial disclosure ..I challenge all NGO’s and CBO’s to submit for scrutiny their financial statements. Have they done so? They have a responsibility to show good governance and transparency. Let us start from this premise….

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