Planning for Success: PACT’s Operational Planning Workshop

Contact: Deidra Smith Phone: 822 3637 Fax: 822 3759

Cayo, Belize, December 1, 2010—PACT, in collaboration with Friends for Conservation Development (FCD), held a three day Operational Planning Workshop for Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in San Ignacio this week. The workshop is a part of PACT’s mentorship program and was facilitated by FCD, an exemplary NGO in operational planning, with whom PACT hopes to maintain a successful partnership. The main objective of the workshop was to promote more effective protected areas management through organizational capacity development. The workshop involved eight participants, the small number allowing for each to gain the most from the training. Participants were: Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Trial Farm, Belize Development Foundation, Belize Fishermen Cooperative, Rio Blanco Mayan Association, San Miguel River Keeper Watchers, Itzamna Society and Cayo Honey Quality Producers Cooperative.

The training was unlike usual workshops, being very hands-on. The highlight topics of the training included:
- Planning for Success: Planning in the workplace and project planning
- The Essence of Time: Importance of Punctuality
- Thinking SMART
- Power of Goals: Performance goals
- The Desire of Learning
- Fear of Failure: It’s ok to fall but have to get up
- Teamwork: The Law of Mount Everest
- Diligence in the workplace

Each session allowed participants the opportunity to share from previous experience, and later they were presented with case studies to tackle. Day two of the workshop was a field day at the Western Maya Mountain Massif, a full hands-on experience of planning in the Massif. The visit allowed them to observe and learn various planning techniques used by managers of the civil society and governmental sector. Sheril Tzul, of the Belize Development Foundation, said it “was inspiring to see how people plan and how each one, such as the San Antonio Women’s Group, work closely with their members for a successful venture.” Nadine Nemhard, of the Belize Fishermen Cooperative, felt “discipline in planning” was the essence of the lesson learnt during the day trip.

Following the workshop, PACT will maintain close contact with participants to guide the development of their 2011 Annual Operational Plan. In the New Year, participants will once again come together—this time to present their work plans and receive feedback from their peers.

For more information visit or email

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PACT was formally established in January 1996 with the passing of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust Act, No. 15 of 1995, creating the institution as a Statutory Board. The functions of PACT are to encourage and promote, for the benefit and enjoyment of the present and future generations of the people of Belize, the provision, protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural and cultural resources of Belize. The PACT is managed by a Board of Directors that is comprised of Government agencies, non-government organizations and individual experts.

All of us have a role to play in protected areas management!