Posted: Thursday, November 9, 2023. 7:34 pm CST.
SIRDI, CEMJC collecting soil samples in National Soil Survey – Photo Credit: SIRDI
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) and the Centro Escolar México Junior College (CEMJC) are participating in National Soil Survey launched by the Ministry of Natural Resources, Petroleum, and Mining and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise on Monday, October 30, 2023.
The month-long National Soil Survey will run until November 24.
“Witness the dedication of our incredible SIRDI team and collaborators (CEMJC) as we embarked on the National Soil Sampling,” SIRDI said in a social media post in which they showed photographs of the team taking soil samples from the Northern area of the country.
The Ministry of Natural Resources said in a press release that they are receiving major support in executing the survey from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI), the Ya’axche Conservation Trust, the Belize Maya Forest Trust, the Forest Department, and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network.
The participating agencies, as expressed by SIRDI, will gather a minimum of 350 soil samples country wide. These samples will be sent to Barbados to be analysed at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
“The results will be used to update national soil information and data, as a basis for strengthening land degradation neutrality (LDN) and sustainable land (SLM) and soil management (SSM) practices,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said.
“The outcome of this exercise will be the production of state-of-the-art soil maps for the country that will provide data on soil organic content and other important facts.”
The National Soil Survey is being executed by the two ministries in collaboration with the Partnership Initiative for Sustainable Land Management (PISLM), with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and technical support from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the University of the West Indies (UWI St. Augustine), according to the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The National Soil Survey is a project under the ‘Caribbean Small Island Developing States (CSIDS) Multi-Country Soil Management Initiative for Integrated Landscape Restoration and Sustainable Food Systems: Phase 1 (CSIDSSOILCARE Phase 1)’ which is being executed over a four-year period by eight countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia.
“The objective of the CSIDS SOILCARE Phase 1 project is to strengthen Caribbean SIDS with the necessary tools for adopting policies, measures, and best practices and support the review of legal and institutional frameworks to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) and Climate Resilience,” the Ministry of Natural Resources said.
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