Excellent interview....

Belizean conservationist Rafael Manzanero weighs in on environmental challenges affecting Ambergris Caye

[Linked Image] The San Pedro Sun had the opportunity for a one on one interview with Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Rafael Manzanero. The FCD manages the Chiquibul Rainforest Reserve in western Belize, and its Chief shared his views on sustainability, weighed in the challenges Belize’s marine and terrestrial eco-systems are going through and what Belizeans as a whole nation can do to better manage these sensitive resources.

He stressed on sustainability as the key to a successful balance between conservation and development. Manzanero commended the efforts that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is undergoing to try and protect the marine areas around the island with better management strategies. According to him, sustainable developments are possible with the right legislations and mechanisms set in place. Manzanero indicated that when the Ministry of Tourism or the Belize Tourism Board opens the door for development near protected areas, all the necessary platforms for a sustainable investment should be considered. However, one main factor exposed in the conversation was ‘greed.’ It was pointed that when investors know that they can get a lot more from what has been approved from a resource, temptation can play a role in overriding regulations. “Sustainable development in developing countries like Belize is a big challenge, but we need to find a way how to counter such obstacles,” said Manzanero.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun