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Feb 14, 2020

BNCF Awards over $100K in Grants

Three protected areas within the Belize National Protected Areas System received funds today to strengthen the management of their sites. A brief ceremony was held today to hand over the funds to the awardees. News Five was there to find out more about how the funds will help the grantees. Here’s the story:


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize Nature Conservation Foundation awarded one hundred and thirteen thousand dollars in grants to improve the management of three terrestrial protected areas in Belize. The funding is primarily for park management, training and research.


Celia Mahung

Celia Mahung, Chair, BNCF

“The BNCF provides grants to registered terrestrial protected areas manages involved in conservation and management for the sustainable use of Belize’s natural resources. Eligible projects must fall under general categories such as general park management and that includes protection, environmental education, equipment, training and also research. The Belize Nature Conservation Foundation funding has been critical in maintain management presence, protected areas planning and in a few cases, building on previous BNCF investments in some of the protective areas.”


Five organizations applied for the thirteenth cycle of grants from the BNCF. The three of those five applications were approved. The three grantees Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association received thirty-five thousand dollars; the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group and the Mayflower Bocawina Environmental & Development Group received thirty-nine thousand dollars each.


Maria Pech

Maria Pech, Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association

“We saw that one of our conservation targets was the keel-billed moth-moth but no data had been collected for that species or bird population in general. So, we decided to make that an important aspect of our project to get data that would inform us of the different trends of distribution and abundance of these populations in the national park. Another aspect of the project was to develop birding programmes so with that data we would be able to design those programs to diversity our incomes generating activities but in no way would we want to compromise the biological heritage of these populations.”


Leon Dawson

Leon Dawson, Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group

“We will revise, update and analyze the management plan for a feasible time of five years. This is vital for effective management and a will give a clear, defined path for the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group. The grant funds will also revive the youth environmental group that will strengthen the sanctuary’s relations within the seven communities and will assist with education and outreach activities geared towards environmental education and sustainable use of resources in the community baboon sanctuary.”


Estevan Assi

Estevan Assi, Mayflower Bocawina Environmental & Development Group

“The establishment of a live barrier with dominant trees at respective boundary areas. At the MBNP, we have incursions just like any other protected area to the north east and south east of the park because of the conventional farms surrounding that area, so there is an ease of access.  Although we have GPSD at the moment, we find it as a proactive approach that we will have these trees a form of demarcation for our area. So, it will help us to improve the enforcement. There will be a revolving nursery of four thousand dominant trees and the seedlings will be planted along, for this specific project, along the southern boundary of the park spanning almost fifteen miles. Over sixty part-time employees will be employed from the buffer community of Silk Grass.”


The Belize Nature Conservation Foundation was established to provide financial support towards research, capacity building and management of terrestrial protected areas through the Debt for Nature Swap between the Belize Government and Government of the United States. The BNCF’s grant service is supported by PACT. Up to December of last year, forty-four grants to twelve NGOs and community-based organizations to strengthen management of fifteen registered terrestrial protected areas. 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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