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#496648 - 10/10/14 05:55 AM FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers
Marty Offline

FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers

For two weeks now since the murder of Danny Conorquie - national attention has been laser focused on the western border with Guatemala - and the 25 miles or so that abut the Chiquibul forest. And, the friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park says the attention is much needed. That's because the Chiquibul, which is four times the size of Barbados, needs more boots on the ground. The BDF has already sent more soldiers, but the Friends have to provide Forest Rangers to accompany them - to gather important information about the preservation and the plunder of the largest conservation area in Belize. And so the FCD is hoping to harness public interest in the area - to get some support for their rangers program. They're organizing a telethon - and today at a press conference they told the media why:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
In ten days Camp Valentin will be fully operational. It is a conservation post which sits just across the border form the Guatemalan village of La Rejoya - and angry villagers came across on Friday demanding that it be taken down:

Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD
"I think certainly they really see it as a barrier upon what they having practice to do over the years. If we have something to learn as a country is that we certainly have to stand our ground, we have to be bold in terms of putting these interventions. We have always said at FCD that the only way to govern a land is to have a presence on the ground. But we will need to stand our ground and to demonstrate that we certainly have sovereignty in terms of maintaining that land that is basically right here as part of our territory."

And the ones who are going to be taking that stand are Rangers from Friends for Conservation and Development - because it is not a military post, but a conservation post:

Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD
"Where do we get the men to put in there because this is a conservation post? This is not a military base. The BDF are there only to support the conservation cause because this is inside of protective areas."

Now FCD is having a telethon to ask you to help:

Valerie Woods, FCD Volunteer
"Belize City alone is roughly about 60,000 - 70,000 population. Discount 50% of ot to those of us who are employed, the working population - 30,000 - 35,000 - $10 dollars per that amount gets them a long way in meeting that target."

They didn't state a flat target - but FCD needs 24 rangers at a cost of twenty four thousand dollars annually per ranger - right now, they have only 7 - to cover a vast area:

Raphael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD
"We are talking about nearly half a million acres of land. We are looking at 7.7% of Belize, so in practice we can claim that each one of my rangers have 1% of Belize that they can represent in the jungle. And of course anybody will say, but our plan, that is impossible - of course we understand that."

Dr. Colin Young, Former Chairman - FCD
"This is not an easy job. This is a herculean job, it's massive and I think that there is perhaps a disconnect in the larger media and the Belizean population as to the challenges that is associated with the management of the most dangerous protected area in Belize to manage."

And that's why they are making this appeal:

Dr. Colin Young, Former Chairman - FCD
"Whatever we can do as citizens of Belize to help FCD to raise funds to allow that organization to hire more rangers, we have to do that."

Amin Bedran, Member - FCD Board of Directors
"I do believe that this thing about adapting a ranger is an excellent idea. I think that all the companies here in Belize that could afford to help in this - it's a very important reserve."

The telethon is set for October 18th from 10am to 6:00 pm at Memorial Park and will be carried on all media outlets.

Channel 7

#496694 - 10/11/14 06:21 AM Re: FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Chiquibul Telethon

#496792 - 10/14/14 02:23 PM Re: FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Chiquibul Protection Telethon October 18

#496841 - 10/16/14 05:18 AM Re: FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

FCD: Why They Need Your Help

6 days ago, the Friends For Conservation and Development launched their telethon drive to generate revenue for their expansion of their rangers program.

As we've told you, the Chiquibul National Park, which the FCD co-manages, is 4 times the size of Barbados, and there is a need for more boots on the ground. There will be 3 new conservation posts - one of which was completed about 3 days ago. That facility, Valentin, has already made the news because earlier in the construction there was an armed incursion of Guatemalan civilians who have threatened to burn it down.

That has placed the challenges that FCD faces in perspective, and with the need for more boots on the ground, the NGO is trying to harness public concern to raise funds.

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is doing its part: it has earmarked a 600 thousand dollar grant for FCD.

You might look at that figure and decide that with that much money, the FCD isn't strapped for cash, and therefore doesn't need that much support for their telethon. Yesterday, the executive director told us persons would be misled if they believe that this grant alone helps to manage the park. According to him, the grant allows for maintenance of the status quo, not an expansion in the magnitude that the organization needs:

Raphael Manzanero - Executive Director FDC

"Our business plan from 2008 it spells out for the Chiquibul to have a 8 man team. it required 1.3 million dollars annually to run the Chiquibul forest and that was just 4 years ago. That was only speaking of 8 rangers in place because there are many other things that happen. There is machinery, there is fuel and other infrastructure in place. Each on of those CP are not just standing alone you have to be able to give them service. With this PACT grant though, it has a whole set of objectives. One of they key objectives was for us to be financially sustainable. Now no NGO, any where, even here in Belize with the Belize Audubon having a lot of tourists going to the national monument, even for that, they're not self sustained; In other words they have to go out to fundraise. So for us, technically we have to fundraise externally. So the PACT grant only comes to accommodate other programmes. It will subsidise for 4 ranges however, but that is just to keep the slate which we have, which is 6 of them, including the PACT manager. Those funds from PACT will cover 4 and we will still have a deficiency for subsidising for the other 3. Now the telethon is to move it move it to 24 rangers where we will be able to cover the ground. I mentioned about the CPs they will require of presence and I mention about the other areas that are already in place. So even 24 is just the minimum."

The telethon takes place this Saturday in the Memorial Park, and all donations will be welcomed. It will be aired live on all media.

As part of the 1.19 million dollars in project grants from pact, $36 thousand will be given to the Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association (STACA), and another $59 thousand will go to the Rio Blanco Mayan Association (RBMA), all in the small grants.

In the medium Grants Southern Environmental Association (SEA) will receive 183 thousand dollars. Apart from the FCD receiving that 600 thousand dollars, they are joined in the large grants category with Ya'axche Conservation Trust, which will receive 316 thousand dollars.

Channel 7

#497028 - 10/19/14 12:40 PM Re: FCD Launches Telethon To Fundraise For Rangers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

FCD Telethon raises over $320,000

The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) telethon held Saturday to raise funds to increase the number of FCD rangers in the Chiquibul reserve raised over $320,000.

According to Valerie Woods, FCD volunteer and telethon organizer, the government pledged $120,000, which will cover the cost of five rangers. FCD also received another $200,000 in pledges but Woods said they also received donations via phone and internet pledges so the final figures wouldn’t be in until later in the week when they collect these donations.

Woods said that their goal was to raise $500,000, which would allow the FCD to have 24 park rangers in the Chquibul Forest Reserve. Currently the FCD only has seven rangers.

Woods said the telethon was also a medium to create awareness about the issues rangers face in the Chiquibul Reserve where a wide variety of illegal activities ranging from illegal cultivation of corn and other crops, illegal logging, gold panning, marijuana cultivation, and xate extraction are being committed by Guatemalan nationals.

The telethon was held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Belize Telemedia Limited and Smart provided phone and Internet services taking pledges.

The Reporter


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