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Jul 28, 2009

PACT awards 7 scholarships in environmental studies

Story PictureThey are known for the protection and conservation of the environment, and tonight, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, is also celebrating education. Since 2002, the organization has been providing scholarships to deserving persons to pursue studies on environmental conservation and development. At a ceremony held at the Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, seven persons were awarded with financial assistance from PACT. Duane Moody has this report.

Duane Moody, Reporting
The academic scholarships were awarded to students pursuing associates, bachelors and masters degree programs at Saint John’s College Junior College, the University of Belize and Galen University. Executive Director of PACT, Sharon Perera, says the value of the program is over sixty-seven thousand dollars.

Sharon Perera, Executive Director, PACT
“The scholarship program, however, was established in 2002. This was established in order to compliment the projects that we were funding recognizing that there was a need to support capacity building.”

This year’s recipients are five students; Herminio Sho, Dorothy Choco, Noe Verde, Gedisa Avella, Ingrid Rodriguez while Anthony Mai and Ramon Carcamo Junior are employed in the sector.

Ramon Carcamo Jr., Scholarship Recipient, Master’s Degree Prog
“With the financial support from PACT, I will be able to attend that university to improve my skills in managing, in addressing issues that is important in the development and sustainable management of our natural resources—either terrestrial or aquatic—our flora and fauna needs to be managed in a sustainable development.”

Ingrid Rodriguez, Scholarship Recipient, Bachelor’s Degree Prog
“When it comes to conservation and all the courses, I’ve had many experiences and I believe that this is a great opportunity how us as Belizeans who are the human resources can study, be prepared and for us to in the future conserve the environment for our future generation which is what sustainable development is all about.”

Noe Verde, Scholarship Recipient, Associate’s Program
“I’ve always lived in a local area, village life to make it clear and I’ve always been around nature over there and that is why I’m doing it yeah. Over there in my village, the main occupation is fishing in Sarteneja and I’ve seen over the years how it has affected the wildlife and I want to continue my studies so I can give back to my community.”

Perera says that the seven of the twenty-three applicants had to fit a certain criteria, which included a commitment to the environment.

Sharon Perera
“The only way individuals can get direct assistance from PACT is through the scholarship program and this year the criteria for the scholarships were based largely on financial need. The applicants needed to demonstrate financial need, the area of study is related to the field of natural resource, conservation and development. They demonstrated commitment to remaining in field, if they are involved in volunteering in natural resource management and more importantly, they come from communities that buffer protected areas.”

Pact has provided financial assistance to sixty-nine students, the price tag… over a million dollars in scholarships. Duane Moody, reporting for News Five.


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