Four N.G.O.’s receive grant from Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility is an environmental programme that provides grant funding for community projects that promote environmental economic and social development. One of its latest projects is the Green Wave Initiative that is intended to capture the importance of biodiversity and the need to conserve the flora and fauna. Over 25 representatives from various environmental conservation organizations met at the Coastal Zone Compound on Newtown Barracks for the handing over of grants to 4 N.G.O.s. Duane Moody reports.
Duane Moody Reporting
At today’s handing over ceremonies, 4 environmental and conservation organization received grants of $12,000 each and a variety of native trees to be planted countrywide to celebrate International Biodiversity Day on May 22nd.
Amanda Burgos Acosta, Advocacy Program Manager, Belize Audubon Society
“We have basically acquired another batch of trees, both Mahogany and native species, and we will be distributing to 6 community schools, what we call our buffer communities; they surround the protected areas and in addition we are working with the City Council and on May 22nd at 10:00 a.m., ‘cause they will be having a ceremony at one of the local parks with the youth group and we also have a school that has contacted us, that they want to be a part of this initiative in Orange Walk, so our reach is kind of broad. We basically are going out and having presentations on biodiversity, educating the kids, interactions.”
Ramon Pacheco, Technical Coordinator, Programme For Belize
“We will be inviting primary schools within the Belize River Valley area and in the area between Orange walk and the Blue Creek area in Orange walk District to join with Programme for Belize to plant trees. We will be providing them mahogany trees which they will be planting within their school compound and also as a group in one central area.”
For some organizations, the trees will add life to areas affected by natural disasters.
Andrew Price, Development Officer, Sustainable Harvest Intl. Belize
“Natural disasters, especially in the Toledo area, Hurricane Dean where lot of trees went down, so this is a good way to tell people or also loggers when you cut, replant back.”
Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, Friends for Conservation Development
“Even though we don’t have a lot of trees in our country, there are statistics that 60-70% of our forest covered yet—they are intact but certainly there is a greater need for the public involvement to see the importance of trees and trees by self do provide a lot of benefit from air and shade and multiple things. In general we are speaking of over 1,000 trees for the Cayo area alone, and then another 300 in terms of ornamental plants. So it’s going to be hardwoods—primarily like mahogany cedars and then other plants which really the schools cans use as ornamentals. We are looking at some 11 communities in the Cayo district alone; particularly working with school children and so the areas to be planted is still to be deciphered. More than likely it’s going to be along their backyards, along the schoolyard and perhaps in some areas along the river side.”
National Coordinator for G.E.F., Philip Balderamos says the recipients will also organize a primary school competition on sound environmental practices.
Philip Balderamos, Nat’l Coordinator, Global Environment Facility
“As part of the Green Wave Initiative each of the 4 partner guarantees will be having a local primary school level poster and poem competition. And the topic for the poem and the poster is to demonstrate the importance of conserving biodiversity. So one poem and one poster will be chosen as the winning poem or poster in 4 areas of the country, and then the 4 winners will compete for the National Prize and the primary school student who prepares the best poster and poem to represent the importance of protecting and conserving biodiversity, will receive a laptop computer.”
All schools are expected to participate in the competition.
Duane Moody for News Five.