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Belize Forest Department emphasizes importance of forest ecosystems at briefing at Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve

Posted: Monday, September 18, 2023. 3:56 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Today, the Belize Forest Department hosted an ecosystem goods and services press briefing in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

Members of the media and representatives of the village councils from Cristo Rey, San Antonio, and 7 Miles were sensitized on the numerous provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services and benefits that the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve provides.

The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, which was established in 1944, encompasses 43,081.93 hectares and contains the largest area of pre-montane pine forests in Belize.

The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest forms part of the Maya Mountain Massif, one of the few large blocks of natural forest ecosystems left in Central America and a critical water source since its tributaries form a major component of the Upper Belize River watershed.

The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and its ecosystems provide numerous life-sustaining benefits, including clean air and water for drinking, energy production and recreation, groundwater recharge, and some of Belize’s most breathtaking landscapes.

However, the quality of goods and services our forest reserves and ecosystems provide are threatened by several factors, including land use change, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

The briefing provided a platform for dialogue and sensitization on the importance and value of our forest ecosystems to everyone, including our economy.

The Forest Department extended gratitude to the media, the buffer communities and the users of the forest reserve who participated in the event.

This initiative was made possible through funding from the GIZ “Strengthening Strategic and Operational Cooperation for the Protection of the Selva Maya” Project. 


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