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Queen’s Baton arrives in the Chiquibul National Park

Posted: Friday, August 4, 2017. 10:23 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: The Queen’s Baton reached the Chiquibul National Park yesterday with a group of young people from Belize City, staff from the Olympics Committee, FCD staff and staff accompanying the baton internationally.

The Queen’s Baton Relay in the Chiquibul had a special significance due to the fact that in 2015 Queen Elizabeth II also launched the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC). The QCC initiative consists of a unique network of forest conservation projects, which unites the Commonwealth family of nations to save the world’s most important natural habitats.

On March 24th 2016, Omar Figueroa, committed Belize to the QCC, dedicating the Chiquibul National Park (CNP), with its 285,937 acres as the emblematic biodiverse forested area to this pan-Commonwealth project, supported by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and Rainforest Concern.

Furthermore, to promote its protection, Maya 2020 was also created, bringing together a team of British environmentalists as FCD’s supporters in the United Kingdom.

The Royal Commonwealth Society has the lead role in the management and promotion of the QCC and made the contact with Geovanni Alamilla of the Belize Olympics Committee seeking an opportunity to promote these two inspiring Commonwealth initiatives – The Queen’s Baton Relay and The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. Mr. Nathan McKenzie, Public Affairs Officer ofThe Royal Commonwealth Society noted that joining the two efforts in the beautiful environs of the Cayo District would be wonderful.

The baton left early from Belize City and reached the Guacamallo Bridge at 10:30 a.m. This concrete bridge separates the Mountain Pine Ridge from the Chiquibul National Park. From here the group relayed across the bridge with the baton. FCD’s Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero was then joined by Alamilla of the Belize Olympics Committee for the unveiling of a plaque commemorating Belize’s active participation in the QCC initiative.

Thereafter the group made two other stops at Caracol Archaeological Reserve and Las Cuevas Research Station where the runners and visitors admired the Maya monument of Caana, observed the wide expanse of the Chiquibul Forest from the tower lookout and felt the tranquility of the dark cave at Las Cuevas Research Station.

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