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May 24, 2023

Carbon Symposium Looks at Ways of Earning Money While Protecting Forests

The Belize Network of non-governmental Organizations held its first ever Carbon Symposium today. The event created an avenue for stakeholders in the conservation sector to discuss opportunities that can help Belize to earn financial incentives while protecting our forests. Changing our practices to more environmentally-friendly methods can help Belize in the future, as more countries are shifting towards greener methods. News Five’s Marion Ali was at the symposium and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Preserving our forests and exploring ways of earning financial benefits was one of the topics discussed during the first-ever Carbon Symposium held by the Belize Network of N.G.O’s. Dr Elma Kay is the managing director of Belize Maya Forest Trust and also chairs the board of directors of the Belize Network of N.G.Os.


Elma Kay

Dr. Elma Kay, Managing Director, Belize Maya Forest Trust

“We are learning, creating an educational space, and creating awareness about carbon and the opportunities, for example, with carbon markets, how those opportunities can actually help us as a country in terms of securing our forests, securing our biodiversity, securing things like watersheds, but at the same time having a financial incentive behind it. Carbon allows us a way to get some income and value from those forests without having to actually deplete the forest and hence keeping some of the values that those forests provide to us, like water security, which is important for adaptation to climate change.”


Anna McMurray, a forest carbon technical advisor for Wildlife Conservation Society, is an expert in agricultural forestry and other land use sector. She says that Belize has been doing well in earning carbon credits internationally.


Anna McMurray

Anna McMurray, Forest Carbon Technical Advisor, Wildlife Conservation Society

“There are several private carbon projects in the country that are very successful and have produced carbon credits that are being sold in the international carbon market that can be used as an example to scale up these types of land based carbon initiatives, not just in Belize, but throughout the region, in the Caribbean and Central America and, you know, throughout the world. So I, I think Belize can be seen as a leader in this field.”


McMurray believes that opportunities that lie out there for Belize can assist us in meeting our climate change targets.


Anna McMurray

“I do think the international carbon market can provide a source of financing to Belize to help meet its climate change targets by implementing these site-based carbon projects and a larger – hopefully in the future, a larger jurisdictional REDD finance can come in to support the other work that Belize needs to do to help adapt to climate change and reduce its emissions by investing in infrastructure.”


Dr. Kay says the fact that Belize is transitioning with the rest of the world in adapting greener methods of living puts Belize in a good place because we still maintain much of our forests.


Dr. Elma Kay

“Our fossil fuel consumption Does not equate to the, you know, does not come near the amount that developing countries consume. So for us, it’s a good move in terms of good practices and, you know, being conscious. But actually the countries that most need those adjustments to, for example, solar and, you know, electric bikes and all these things. Those really are the countries that are the high emitters because they need to reduce their carbon footprint.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

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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