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Jun 6, 2012

Keeping protected areas secured

Earlier in the newscast we reported that an order has been issued to stop dredging in a protected area. We caught up with Minister Lisel Alamilla at the opening of a program for Protected Areas Management. The Ministry is partnering with the University of Belize, which is providing the training. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The National Training Program for Protected Areas Management was officially launched in Belmopan this morning before a gathering of environmentalists, conservationists and government officials.  The objective of the plan of action, a joint effort between the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize, is to develop a practical system through which supervision of the country’s protected areas can be enhanced.

 

Lisel Alamilla

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry

“We hope that the training program will improve coordination in order to maximize resources and avoid duplication of efforts and continuously involve the engagement of local and international partners with expertise in the various areas related to protected areas management, to participate in the delivery of training as a way of ensuring our program’s quality and relevance.  The ERI’s participation in the development of the training program was part of the commitment of the University of Belize to fulfill responsibilities envisioned of it within the operational framework for the implementation of the plan.  Under this framework, as the national university UB is seen as the key implementing partner for training related to protected areas management and of course we all know that the ERI is headed by no other than Dr. Elma Kaye who does miracles with the little resources that the ERI has. I would like to take this opportunity to pledge my government’s continued support for improving institutional and management capacity for the enhancement of our protected areas system and ultimately for our continued national development.”

 

According to Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido, the proposal for a national training program revolves around the sustainability of Belize’s biodiversity through its commitments under the Convention on Biological Diversity’ Program of Work on Protected Areas.

 

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer

Wilbur Sabido

“When we look at the strategic plan for biodiversity it basically has a vision which states that by 2050 biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored, used wisely and that the eco-system services of the ecosystems are maintained.  The mission is to take effective and urgent action to halt the loss of biodiversity.  Now this is the overall vision and mission and the way the conference of the parties, including Belize, agreed that we would undertake the execution of this strategic plan was to identify targets and the targets are referred to as Aiche Targets, and the reason why it’s referred to as Aiche is because of a location in Japan.  It has nothing to do with biodiversity; it’s really an association that is made to the host country.”

 

The project is funded by the Global Environment Facility through the United Nations Development Program, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and the Oak Foundation. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

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