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Belize reworks Maya Forest carbon deal

Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2021. 8:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: After complaints that the Government was being robbed of its fair share of taxes and other compensation under the original agreement, the Government of Belize and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have agreed to co-operate in the implementation of a strategy and mutual undertaking of the parties for the benefit of the Government and People of Belize, to protect and conserve their natural ecosystems and its services, as well as its biodiversity in perpetuity while seeking to support sustainable human development.

The reworked deal includes supplemental agreements that will net Government an additional $20 million in land taxes to the Government over 50 years and the Government
having the exclusive right to determine the use and disposition of a portion of the proceeds of the sale of the carbon credits associated with the conservation lands that may mean millions of additional dollars to benefit the people of Belize.

TNC has further committed to working with the Government of Belize to secure investments of approximately BZ$20 million over 10 years in order to improve regenerative agriculture and climate-resilient land management in the region of the Belize Maya Forest.

The supplemental agreements were approved in Cabinet and are a critical stepping-stone in conserving the Belize Maya Forest – 236,000 acres of land purchased through a collaboration of several partner organizations led by TNC that represents an irreplaceable linchpin in the conservation of one of the largest remaining tropical forests in the Americas.

In addition, the Maya Forest Corridor Initiative – a partnership led by TNC with the support of a coalition of local and international partners, is aiming to also protect the Maya Forest Corridor which is a critical link in Central America’s largest forest—the majestic Maya Forest—and a vital wildlife pathway.

This vital tract of land connects the Maya Mountains in the South and the Selva Maya of Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize and is a gateway that ensures the survival of many wildlife species.

The Government sees this as an investment in Belize’s immediate and long-term economic growth, as it will create jobs in forest restoration, protection, and management; and has the potential to unlock international climate financing.


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