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Dec 2, 2005

PACT co-managers meet in P.G. for A.G.M.

Story PictureIn November, the Protected Areas Co-Management Partners held its annual general meeting in Punta Gorda Town. Twenty-three agencies were represented at the two-day event, which reviewed activities in 2005 and included a presentation from the Forest Department on its five year action plan. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Johnny Briceño addressed the gathering, but noted it is difficult to gauge the status of the agreement with government in the absence of reports from partners. Briceño maintains that the changing role of the Forest Department also requires changes in the way the department functions, and interacts with other organisations.

Johnny Briceño, Minister of Natural Resources
?Whenever we sign an agreement with our co-management partners, part of that agreement was that you should have been submitting an annual report and for one reason or the other it has not been carried out. We feel that it is very important for us and for yourselves to come up with this annual report, because I think this is the only way we can chart the way forward.?

?I think it is time that the Forest Department, along with us in the Ministry of Natural Resources to sit back and reflect and to rethink the way we have been doing things together. We need to find a way how we can reposition ourselves to address these issues that are so critical to all of us; to address them effectively. Critical to these challenges that we are facing?and I just alluded to it a few minutes ago?was the issue of the depletion of a key resource, timber. We all recognise that we are cutting far, way too much more than what nature is providing back to us and if we are to continue in that process, I believe that my children generation?s will no longer be able to enjoy the wonderful forests that we have, the big majestic mahogany trees that we can still see here in the Toledo District. So certainly the future calls for a new dynamic and integrated approach because the processes that we used yesterday are no longer applicable to today?s reality.?

The A.G.M. was organized by the Forest Department in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Local Government and the Environment, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, and the Meso-American Biological Corridor Project.


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