Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019. 9:26 am CST.ong>
By BBN Staff: Guatemalan and Belizean technicians met at a working session on January 22 and 23, 2019 at Log Cabins.
The session is a part of an exchange program between Belizean and Guatemalan natural resource managers funded by the British High Commission Office in Belize.
The first session had the purpose of identifying joint strategies to address illegal wildlife trafficking occurring in the Chiquibul landscape.
Technicians from the Belize Forest Department, Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (CONAP), Foro de Justicia Ambiental, Asociacion Balam and Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) presented and discussed the present prevailing conditions affecting wildlife species, particularly scarlet macaws.
Over the last 2 years, at least 7 poachers in both Belize and Guatemala have been detained and charged for trafficking macaws.
As a result of the session, a binational technical roundtable will be formalized with the aim of exchanging information and addressing trafficking of endangered and threatened species.
This technical body will be launched with a declaration of good intentions, during the month of February in San Ignacio.
This initiative goes in line with the MoU signed in Placencia between the Governments of Belize and Guatemala in 2014 related to the protection of the environment and sustainable use of resources.
The second work session had the purpose of exchanging information regarding the management plans that are being designed for Belize’s Chiquibul National Park and Guatemala’s Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve.
Attendees included the Belize Forest Department, CONAP, Asociacion Balam and FCD. Due to the similar ecosystems shared and due to the proximity of each other, these two blocks of protected areas contain common conservation targets that require joint, collaborative efforts.
The major threat to the Chiquibul Forest is derived from a transboundary nature, and as a result, the participants recommended a review of joint strategies employed over the years such as the 2017 Action Plan for Conservation of the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains, and the Binational Environmental Security Strategy.
The review will be conducted through a workshop to be held at the Organization of American States by March of this year.
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