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Mar 17, 2015

Marine Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation Project Launched in Belize

A community-based project that looks at the impact of climate change on the ecosystem from a development standpoint was launched today by the Fisheries Department. The marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation project, also referred to as MCCAP, seeks to ensure the sustainable development and the viability of the fishing industry, while creating awareness on the global issue of climate change. The five-year project will focus on three marine protected areas in the Jewel and will encompass three components that will run simultaneously over the years. Project Coordinator, Sandra Grant, spoke more on the project.


Sandra Grant

Sandra Grant, Project Coordinator, MCCAP, Belize

“Ensure that the ecosystems is sustainable, but also that livelihoods for fisher folks…that we can provide alternative livelihoods support for our fishermen, but also to send the word around about climate change and the impact especially for our low-lying community like Belize. So what we are trying to ensure that our marine protected areas are sustainable so we will put a lot of effort in strengthening our marine protected areas and also to encourage alternative livelihoods and to financially support these livelihoods initially and hope that they will be sustainable over time.   We are focusing on the barrier reef and as we said earlier, we are focusing on three major protected areas, three sites: the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the Turneffe Atoll Marine Sanctuary, a reserve as well, and the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. So we are going to focus on three because we still have a lot more marine protected areas and other areas in the south, but the focus is on the northern and central which are Corozal and Belize City and the South Water Caye area.  I think one of the most attractive part of the project is the alternative livelihoods and that is the part that I like. It is trying to retool people to develop their own livelihood activities, employment activities, and that for me is the critical part of the project. That’s the part that stands out; to try to enable people to be able to create employments where there is none. We are also working with tourism and other rural development groups in order to strengthen. So we are not working alone, but we are going to build some of these activities that are already existent.”


The project is estimated at over ten million dollars. It is being implemented by the World Bank and funded by the Adaptation Fund 

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