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Caribbean Medium Grant

Improved management models at four of Belize’s highest priority protected areas

Marine protected area and conserved area Terrestrial protected area and conserved area Marine managed areas
Livelihoods Management effectiveness Governance
Local communities Farmers/Fishermen Women
Livelihoods/Alternative economic Activities Enforcement Protected area management effectiveness (PAME)
604,741.65 EUR Belize, Caribbean July 07, 2020 – June 06, 2023

Protected and conserved area(s) concerned

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, 10579; Victoria Peak Natural Monument, 301918; Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, 2213; and the Blue Hole Natural Monument, 301906.

Diagnostic tool used

Belize National Protected Areas System and Management Effectiveness Evaluation Tool (revised, 2019)

The BIOPAMA AC Objective(s) addressed

  • Enhance the management and governance of priority protected areas by addressing existing limitations (strengthening on-site infrastructure/equipment for patrolling, poaching control, developing capacity of staff);
  • Support local communities’ initiatives aiming to enhance the livelihoods of local people whilst effectively contributing to protected areas management.

Priority need addressed

Enhance the management effectiveness in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Victoria Peak Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument and the Blue Hole Natural Monument.

Project activities

The project will build BAS’ capacity to effectively and use the four high priority protected areas as landscape and seascape models ‘Centres of Excellence’ for other protected areas in Belize, with a focus on promoting improved long term biodiversity conservation, protection, provision of ecosystem services, and socio-economic benefits across the Belize National Protected Areas System (NPAS). The system consists of important marine reserves and terrestrial protected areas that secure our nature, our culture and our life.

The project has five objectives with activities carried out to attain the latter, highlights include:

  1. Improving enforcement and surveillance—development of framework/plan, training, equipment, on the ground implementation via patrols.
  2. Improve sustainable tourism product—marketing, visitor surveys, equipment, and ensuring public resource use plan implementation.
  3. Build research and monitoring program—develop in house database and disseminate information local and internationally.
  4. Build capacity for adaptive management.
  5. Improve livelihoods of communities with income diversification initiatives; improve community communication through development of communication strategy.

The change the project implementation will bring for the protected area(s)

At the end of the project, two management zones: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary/Victoria Peak Natural Monument (CBWS/VP) and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument/Blue Hole Natural Monument (HMC/BH) will be prepared for IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, a first for Belize. BAS will have improved its capacity to effectively manage and use four high priority protected areas (CBWS/VP & HMC/BH) as landscape and seascape models ‘Centres of Excellence’ for other protected areas in Belize and the region. These areas will have systems in place for improved long-term biodiversity conservation, protection and provision of ecosystem services, and socioeconomic benefits across Belize’s National Protected Areas System.

  • Four protected areas will have strategic landscape and seascape enforcement models developed and implemented.
  • Four protected areas will have in place a sustainable Tourism plan and marketing to ensure high visitor safety and satisfaction and has the infrastructure, equipment, public use plans, policies contributing towards financial sustainability.
  • BAS will have a management information system in place to support data collection and analysis that informs adaptive management of CBWS/VP and HMC/BH and provides accessible information to support conservation and communication strategies.
  • BAS will increase its score for management effectiveness with improved governance and institutional frameworks.
  • Pressure on the natural resources of both CBWS/VP and HMC/BH will be reduced through improved community and stakeholder communication, engagement and socio-economic benefit.

Download the project infofiche.

Implementing organisations

Belize Audubon Society (BAS)

Photo credits: Belize Audubon Society (BAS)

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