Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2021. 10:00 am CST.
Photo Credit: Government of Belize Press Office
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Forest Department is today better equipped to manage Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, including the 1,000-Foot Falls Natural Monument, and the Chiquibul Forest Complex. That is thanks to a donation of specialized forest equipment from the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations under the Sustainable Tourism Project II (STPII).
According to the Government of Belize Press Office and the Forest Department, the donation to the Forest Department, which is part of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, is valued at over BZ$197,000.
“The donation includes a series of electronic equipment and accessories (i.e. laptop, GPS, rugged cellphones, drone, digital camera, and security cameras), beekeepers’ equipment, a 2022 Kawasaki Mule PRO-FX 4×4, two 2022 Kawasaki Brute Force ATVs and safety helmets, a five-gallon fuel container and a vehicle trailer,” said the Press Office.
“Also included in the donation are two solar power units, one of which has been installed at the 1000-Foot Falls Natural Monument, which is now equipped with continuous power. The second unit will be installed at the Douglas D’Silva Forest Office after the completion of renovations.”
The Sustainable Tourism Project II is a five-year program funded by the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank through a US$15 million-dollar loan said the statement.
Up to now, the STPII has invested BZ$1.8 million in the Mountain Pine Ridge, the Chiquibul Forest, and the Caracol complex. Additionally, the STPII has three additional projects that should also benefit the area.
Among those who were present for the handing over ceremony were Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management; Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations; Nicole Solano, CEO in the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations; Raymond Mossiah, Chief Tourism Officer; Juan Rancharan, Monitoring, and Evaluation Specialist, STPII; Wilber Sabido, Chief Forest Officer; John Pinelo, Deputy Chief Forest Officer; and staff of the Forest Department.
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