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Oct 7, 2013

6 N.G.O.s split over $700,000 courtesy of PACT

A number of environmental agencies received grants today from the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT. Over seven hundred and thirty six-thousand dollars were disbursed for new projects to small, medium and large organizations that protect, conserve as well as carry out education awareness on the environment. The umbrella organization for environmental agencies, APAMO, was the biggest beneficiary for projects of institutional strengthening of protected areas management. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust today awarded over seven hundred thousand dollars in projected grants to some six environmental and conservation groups. Apart from the small, medium and large grants; this year there were two grants given for research.

 

Vincent Gillett

Vincent Gillett, Chair, PACT Advisory Council

“There are at least twelve grant types that are supported by PACT and these include just to name a few; the more popular small grant awards, the medium grant awards, the large grant awards. And there the awards range as low as ten thousand dollars to four hundred thousand dollars. Research grants and environmental fellowship grants. I should say that throughout the year and depending upon availability of funds, calls for proposals are widely advertized; inviting participants to submit their proposals.”

 

While there were small grants given to Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation of Development and the Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Belize Fisheries Department received a medium size grant of approximately two hundred thousand dollars for the expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Management Zone. Two research grants were issued for the development of a monitoring plan for the Queen Conch at Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve and for the Ecology of Conservation of the Baird’s Tapir in Central Belize. The biggest grant, however, was issued to the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO) to the tune of three hundred eighty-four thousand and seventy-one dollars.

 

Jose Perez

Jose Perez, APAMO

“Through this project of approximately three hundred and eighty-four thousand dollars, the strengthening of the organization as an institution continues by focusing on our community base organizations; by strengthening their capacities and in so doing we are also strengthening and building the capacities of the organization.  This particular project has three main objectives. The first one is to continue building their capacity, strengthening their governance, providing to them financial, administrative skills and other technical skills to, at the end of the day, manage the protected areas. The mentorship program of APAMO will continue and this particular project will involve technical financial oversight by the APAMO staff; it will involve consultancies to provide specific expertise.”

 

Minister Lisel Alamilla was the keynote speaker at the ceremonies. She spoke of the importance of the continued funding of environmental groups.

 

Lisel Alamilla

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fishers and Sustainable Development

“It is extremely vital to ensure that government contributes to the management of Belize’s protected areas and PACT is the mechanism that we use for the distribution of government funds really to the N.G.O.s that partner with us in sustainably managing our natural resources and engaging the stakeholders such as the fisher folks. Today is an important day because it marks the first time that the Protected Areas Conservation Trust that has been in the business of granting monies towards protected areas management. It is the first time that the board has seen it important to make an extraordinary call for proposals. And so today we are here to sign this; in seventeen years, this is the first time we’re doing that. I think they headed my call that what we want to do is to make sure that the monies get to the people on the ground who are making the work happen. And so today, we will be signing agreements to the sum of seven hundred and thirty-six thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine dollars…quite a significant amount you would agree.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The cheques were handed over at a ceremony at the House of Culture.

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