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Jan 27, 2015

FCD Meets with Guatemalan Counterparts to Discuss Illegal Issues in Chiquibul

The Friends for Conservation and Development, better known as FCD, has been working tirelessly to stop a number of illegal activities inside the Chiquibul.  For the FCD, illegal logging remains one of the top issues to tackle. For the past three years, the organization has had an agreement with Asociacion Balam, a Guatemalan organization that promotes conservation and territorial integrity. Today, FCD, in an effort to further that relationship, met with Asociacion Balam, Guatemalan officials from Poptun and other border communities to launch a project aimed at reducing illegal logging in the Chiquibul Forest. According to Executive Director of FCD, Rafael Manzanero, a number of issues were discussed.


Via Phone: Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD

“This is actually a project that is receiving the support from the EU and FAO program. It is one that has been supported over the last three years and this is another support program that we will be conducting particularly to address illegal logging and trafficking of illegal timber that would be specifically for the area of Chiquibul. We know it as a twin project because also Asociacion Balaam that is our main partner in Guatemala is also doing with the EU/FAO project.”


Rafael Manzanero

Andrea Polanco

“So based on the discussion that you had today, what are some of the things that came up in terms of some of the actions being taken to move forward?”


Via Phone: Rafael Manzanero

“Part of the work that Balaam will be doing as part of the project output is to work also on the Judiciary system in Guatemala; in terms of increasing any penalties for the illegal trafficking of timber, and also the formulation or strengthening for a task force to deal with Illegal logging in certain areas of Petén. Likewise, they will be promoting awareness in communities across in Guatemala, nearby the western border to Belize. In Guatemala, in terms of highlight the rules and laws of regulation as it pertains to the protection of the forest. Finally, they will also be dealing with more of the bi-national relations in terms of meeting with us here in Belize with sharing of data and information.”


Attending the meeting today were Executive Director of Balam Byron Castellanos, along with high level personnel from the Guatemala National Institute of Protected Areas and National Institute of Forest.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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