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Sep 25, 2013

3 environmental N.G.O.s awarded grants from Belize Nature Conservation Foundation

Celia Mahung

The sixth grant award ceremony of the Belize Nature Conservation Foundation, formerly known as the PACT Foundation, was held today at the Coastal Zone Management Training Room on Princess Margaret Drive. BNCF provides grants to registered N.G.O.s and community based groups that focus on the conservation and management for the sustainable use of Belize’s natural resources and protected areas. Today, three environmental groups: the Ya’axche Conservation Trust, Friends of Conservation and Development and the Rancho Dolores Environmental Group were the lucky recipients of some thirty-nine thousand dollars to assist with their environmental efforts.

 

Celia Mahung, Chair, Belize Nature Conservation Foundation

“People sometimes confuse it with the PACT Trust, but the Pact Foundation was established through a debt for nature swap between the Belize Government and the Government of the U.S. way back in 2001; however, this organization was not active until November of 2004 and it became the PACT Foundation and it was only a foundation that was administered by PACT. But it was not a foundation of the PACT Trust as such.  Each of these organizations had to write a proposal to the foundation. The proposals were vetted by the board of the foundation and of course the proposals that met the criteria and included the activities that the foundation funds, were the ones that were successful.”

 

Christina Garcia, Executive Director, Ya’axche Conservation Trust

Christina Garcia

“We manage the Bladen Nature Reserve and basically our project is piloting a Smart Software in the protected areas that we manage. Since our protected areas is encompassed around the Maya Golden Landscape which includes several forest reserves, we are basically going to replicate that software in those protected areas. And the software is basically to collect information on enforcement and also to do some methodology work on how the data information is collected. Of course, Ya’axche has similar challenges to Friends for Conservation and Development, so we are basically inviting other partners to be a part of that training. We are inviting Friends for Conservation and Development, Forest Department, TIDE and Ya’axche of course. So the rangers will be trained in using that software, in collecting the information and enforcement and the methodology. So we are hoping that the software is replicated well as the pilot project and hopefully it can be replicated in other forest reserves in the country of Belize.”

 

Celia Mahung

“So far, approximately ten N.G.O.s and C.B.O.s (community based organizations) have accessed these funds. There are C.B.O.s who have accessed these funds repeatedly. And we’ve offered almost a million Belize dollars in grants since 2005.”

 

BNCF does not offer funding to TIDE, Programme for Belize, Belize Audubon Society and PACT because these organizations are members of the Board. 

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