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Feb 20, 1998

Biodiversity project seeks corridors in North

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Belize has an enviable system of national parks and protected areas, but while these reserves constitute millions of acres, they are often separated by large areas of privately held land. As more of this land becomes cleared for agriculture or housing there is less of a chance for movement of plants and animals around the country. To address this concern the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is hoping to encourage the creation of corridors that will link various protected areas. Today researchers, including project coordinator Anselmo Castaneda, took an aerial tour of northern Belize to get a better picture of the situation on the ground.

Anselmo Castaneda, Project Coordinator

“The importance of a biological corridor is that our protective areas in the region, not only in Belize, are separated physically because of lots of fragmentation the way development has caused them in the past. Now for us the conserve Biodiversity there is a natural need for species of insects, plants, even people to move; it’s a it’s a natural instinct for them to survive. So the importance of biological corridor was recognized ten-twelve years ago as a regional strategy to conserve the region’s Biodiversity.

I would like to make it clear that biological corridors are not protective areas. Biological corridors are physical linkages where sustainable ah, development activities can occur and will occur. We want to human being to be the center of all those things we call sustainable development so definitely it is not a protective area. It’s going to be an area where people will be able to things like ecotourism, sustainable forestry, ah, agroforestry, sustainable agricultural practices. And this northern corridor is especially important for us because the north has not taken the ecotourism development as what the west or the south is doing. So we see this planning that we are doing during the last four months as essential and the flight today is going to like give us the final picture, you know, a bird’s eye view of what’s down there on the ground.”

Today’s flight was made possible through the work of Lighthawk International.

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