Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2022. 1:20 pm CST.
Photo Credit: GOB Press Office
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management is seeking improved management of Laughing Bird Caye National Park and to that end, Minister Orlando Habet recently held a stakeholders’ consultation with the Placencia Village Council, the Placencia Tour Guide Association, and co-managers the Southern Environmental Association (SEA).
The Ministry figures that strengthening stakeholders’ cooperation will result in the improved management of the Laughing Bird Caye National Park.
“The Government of Belize and SEA co-manage the Laughing Bird Caye National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Sub-Site that provides a habitat to an abundance of marine life and bird colonies, such as the Laughing Gull from which this caye gets its name,” said the Government of Belize Press Office in a press release.
Lately, Laughing Bird Caye has suffered from increased threats particularly from the impacts of climate change including increased shoreline erosion.
During the visit, Minister Habet promised to ensure “the current impacts of climate change on the island are alleviated by utilizing a proactive multi-agency approach to halt the current rate of loss to this prime tourism destination” within the Stann Creek District.
The Press Office said the stakeholders’ consultation was a part of the ministry’s initiative to improve protected areas management through the formalization of co-management agreements. The consultation also sought to strengthen community engagement, enforcement, and benefits to local communities and stakeholders from buffering sites.
Minister Habet was joined by teams from the National Biodiversity Office and the Forest Department, which, according to the Press Office, are responsible for implementing these initiatives and “identifying opportunities to scale up protected areas management in Belize”.
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