Today, Monday, February 17, 2014, PACT, accompanied by Honorable Senator Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, held a small Grant Award Ceremony at the Belize Audubon Society’s Office in Belize City, where it awarded $356,253.75 in two new medium-sized project grants!

The two grants were awarded to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project is entitled: Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan and is for a total of $199,998.75. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is one of the more visited sites co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society. The main goal of this project is to install needed infrastructure at the site, with an aim to improve visitor’s experience, while enhancing the aesthetics of the protected area. In addition, the project includes a component which will ensure the Belize Audubon Society’s compliance with the new co-management agreement, by completion of a Management Plan. Key in the drafting of this plan is the protected area map, which will also be developed during this project.

Programme for Belize’s project is entitled: Prioritizing conservation and addressing climate change in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area(RBCMA) and is for a total of $156,255. The project aims to prioritize conservation and address climate change in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) through the development of a five-year management plan. The management plan will analyze the current situation and past experience to set out the main thrust for management action over the next five years. The project will also address climate change by analyzing climate change issues and integrating a climate change program or set of actions within the RBCMA management plan and will enhance PfB’s capacity to detect, suppress, control and manage fires through the construction of a fire lookout tower and dispatch of ranger patrols.

PACT congratulates and thanks the grantees for their hard work and commitment to our protected areas and is confident that these grants will have positive impacts on conservation in Belize.