The protected areas management was the topic of discussion this morning at a meeting held by the forestry department. In 2005 the department developed the protected Areas Policy ad system plan. Based on this plan, they established the protected areas secretariat, a body to oversee the implementation of the policy and system plan. Today representatives of the secretariat were in Orange Walk and gave an overview of the progress of the implementation of the plan. Officer in charge of the Orange Walk Forest Station Hannah Martinez elaborates.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-16_at_7.52.21_PMHannah Martinez- Forestry Department 

“One of the initiatives right now of the secretariat is that they have two projects that are online and one is called the SNC project; Strengthening National Protected Areas capacity for the management for protected areas and the second is the KBA project which is the Key Biodiversity Areas project which is a project geared at strengthening protected areas that have strong treats to keep biodiversity for the country of Belize.  It’s going very well and as I told you it was developed in 2005 so we are couple years into the implementation of the plan and some of the good initiatives of this plan is the review of the legislation governing protected areas, you also have the consolidation of protected areas in Belize that is being undertaken under this plan, the plan also call for a more comprehensive protected area system, it also calls for developing partnership with our stakeholders for the management of our protected areas as well, the project as it stands for example the KBA project is in its initial stages and it has just commence and really and truly it will become fully in implementation in 2015 and it is a 6.28 million dollar project to be spread out through the entire country.”

Present at the meeting were representatives of the department, the tourism board, the town council and other members of the tourism sector. Anyone interested in finding out more about the protected areas management and the plan is welcomed to visit the forest station on Liberty Avenue in Orange Walk Town.

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