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Belizean and Guatemalan youths join hands in conservation

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Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2019. 1:56 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: On March 3, members of Belize’s Friends for Conservation and Development Youth Environmental Group (FCD YEG) and Guatemala ‘s Todos Por Un Mundo Verde convened at El Sombrero EcoLodge, Yaxha, Peten.

The youths met to assess their joint efforts and reaffirm their commitment to work together in the protection of the natural resources and in particular the Chiquibul and Mopan Rivers that are shared across borders. 

The Chiquibul River has its headwaters in the Chiquibul National Park.

Before reaching the communities of Belize, it traverses through multiple communities in Peten, Guatemala and then joins with the Mopan River at the community of Los Encuentros.

It then continues flowing towards Belize where it eventually drains into the Caribbean Sea as the Belize River. Protecting this vital liquid for over 100,000 Guatemalans and over 130,000 Belizeans depends on a joint, combined effort.

An agreement signed by representatives of the two youth groups committed their members to dedicate their efforts and capacities to promote awareness and education for the conservation of the environment; contribute directly to implement strategic actions for the protection of the hydrological resources; give continuity to the implementation of the bi-national youth action plan and apply knowledge and skills to address ecological threats.

The agreement was signed by Ricky Cunil, Acting President of FCD YEG along with nine other members, and Sindy Sagastume, President of Todos Por Un Mundo Verde along with 11 other youth.

The youth efforts over the last six months, which have ranged from exchange visits, youth training and development, clean up campaigns, reforestation, public outreach and environmental education has been possible through the financial support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

The youth groups are supported and guided by the FCD Environmental Educators who also have been running education campaigns highlighting the importance of river conservation.

Their education campaigns are made possible through the support of the British High Commission Office in Belize.

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