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Oct 1, 2019

PACT Awards over $1 Million to be Invested in 5 MPAS

Today the Protected Areas Conservation Trust made its singular largest investment in marine protected areas in Belize. As a part of its conservation investment strategy, PACT awarded over one million dollars to the Fisheries Department to be used to strengthen the management of five marine protected areas. Reporter Andrea Polanco has the details on how the one point one five million dollars will be invested to benefit Belize.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust signed a million-dollar three-year agreement with the Belize Fisheries Department. The agreement provides for a grant to be invested in five marine protected areas that are managed by the Fisheries Department. The one point one five million dollar grant will be used directly to strengthen management of these sites.


Omar Figueroa

Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, Fisheries

“A grant like this will be used to enhance the sustainability of managing these marine protected areas; much needed equipment, much needed training to allow them to effectively and efficiently manage these protected areas.   Enforcement and monitoring are two of the main challenges that we face when we manage protected areas and so this is one of the components that I think the Fisheries Department will actually benefit tremendously and really enhance their presence to be more effective and efficient out in the marine waters.”


The five sites that will benefit from the grant are the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve; Caye Caulker Marine Reserve; South Water Caye Marine Reserve ; Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade says that the grant will be used for infrastructural works, equipment needs, as well as staff trainings to better manage these sites.


Beverly Wade

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator

“This project will be looking at from larger investment from repairing our rangers’ station out at Glover’s Reef to now looking at the replacement of engines which are the everyday cost of management to looking at boats, looking at replacement of piers. These things are capital investments that take a long time for us to replace and to have them back properly running, to now looking at technological equipment that should make the work easier for the staff from computer equipment to monitoring equipment so it is that kind of investment. So, it is really targeted to look at where we currently have these gaps and where are the areas we need to improve to have the kind of presence that we need out there.”


Executive Director of PACT Nayari Diaz Perez outlines the impact of this financial investment:


Nayari Diaz Perez

Nayari Diaz Perez, Executive Director, PACT

“The expected impact from this investment is that over the three year period, we are going to maximize the conservation return on that investment. This is something that is not only going to benefit the tourism industry, the fisheries industry and all other sectors but really it is going to contribute significantly to the economic activity generated from those industries. As you may know, those industries support significant amount of livelihoods for the Belizean citizenry. So, all in all, this is really an investment in the long terms effort for national development of the country.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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