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#424812 - 12/10/11 07:54 AM High Level Delegation Visits Chiquibul
Marty Offline
The multiple security and natural resource emergencies in the Chiquibul Forest was brought to the forefront three weeks ago when the Friends For Conservation and Development - which co-manages the national park - held a press conference.
And it got the attention of foreign diplomats - who visited the Chiquibul on December first to get a first-hand feel for the environmental impacts affecting the remote western area of Belize.

The high level delegation included Two Foreign Service Officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, US Ambassador, Vinai Thummalapally, along with three embassy senior staffers, British High Commissioner, Pat Ashworth and his Deputy as well as the European Union Head of Office, Cosimo Lamberti Fossati.

They were taken to observe the xatero trails, milpa farming activities from Caana temples in the Caracol area and given a tour of the Chiquibul Forest Joint Enforcement Unit at Tapir Camp.

Leading them through the activities were George Thompson of the Institute of Archaeology, Executive Director of FCD, Rafael Manzanero and the Commander of Patrol posted at Tapir Camp.

They explained the importance of joint forces units in the area of Chiquibul and the need for further reinforcement with conservation posts along the western border. The FCD personnel explained that a key element is the acquisition of appropriate equipment and field gear.

FCD expects to take more officials and other interested parties to the Chiquibul forest in the next few months.

Channel 7

#424822 - 12/10/11 08:08 AM Re: High Level Delegation Visits Chiquibul [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
The Chiquibul Forest Reserve is known for its natural wonders, lush forests, pristine rivers and diverse wildlife. It has also become, over the years, the area where illegal logging, poaching and other types of extractions have occurred almost undeterred. Earlier this year, Love News went on an expedition of the Chiquibul to report on the level of hunting of the scarlet macaws. The Friends for Conservation and Development group has been tasked to monitor the level of infiltration that takes place in the forest reserve and as recently as last week, its personnel took representatives from three diplomatic postings in Belize to a portion of the reserve to do just that. The representatives were from the US Embassy, the British High Commission, the European Union and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Executive Director of Friends for Conservation, Rafael Manzanero shared with Love News what came out of the visit.

Rafael Manzanero – Executive Director, Friends for Conservation
“The participants were able to get a better impression and understanding of the magnitude of the problem that is taking place in the Chiquibul Forest which includes of course the Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Chiquibul National Park. Based on the discussions we had and the presentations it certainly was noteworthy for them to get a better understanding of what is taking place as we engage more with the issue of enforcement and in terms of being able to monitor the issues in the Chiquibul Forest.”

Manzanero says that there is a planned overnight operation for early in 2012 when Friends for Conservation and a small group of reporters will be able to return to the Chiquibul Forest Reserve to see the extent of the damages caused by Guatemalans crossing into Belize.



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