This year, the Friends For Conservation and Development has been pushing extra hard for recognition of the multiple problems that face the Chiquibul Forest. And it's paid off; they've gotten the notice of the head of government. On Wednesday, FCD met with the Prime Minister in Belize City. It may not seem like such a big deal, but for an organization who's been trying for years to get officialdom fully on board with its effort to protect the Chiquibul, it is a significant step. Rafael Manzanero told us that the meeting was extremely encouraging:..
Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD
"The main objective of the union in the first phase was basically for us to present ourselves. I felt that the meeting was extremely productive in terms of prescribing the actual situation on the ground and certainly expressing the interest for us to have more support."
"Is there any indication from the Prime Minister how much of a national priority preserving the Chiquibul is?"
"I got the impression and the feeling that yes - it is becoming one of those agenda points that is becoming more and more alarming to the Government and I feel confident that we are now reaching towards a stage of moving in more of the efforts to address the diverse and complete issue. I expect that we would have a better communication in terms of regularity agencies, even much more in terms of trying to coordinate the actual mechanisms so that we can address it much more efficient."
Tomorrow, the Friends for Conservation and Development will join 20 leader from Belize and Guatemala at the OAS Adjacency Office on the Western border where they will sign a local agreement.