The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate change and Disaster Risk Management is investing three-point eight-seven million dollars in the Belize National Protected Areas System for this year 2021-2022. A total of twenty-two protected areas will be benefiting from this investment as PACT shifts from its annual competitive project grant program. The goal is to improve management capacity, build financial sustainability and provide community benefits. Minister Orlando Habet spoke about the award.

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“That money was distributed not equitably, but based on need and based on the proposals and also based on other requirements from the protected area managers. That money was distributed amongst twenty-two protected areas both on land and marine. These groups are co-managers, the government cannot do the management so we have to assist them. What we provide is just portion of the cost and what PACT did during the last three years was to come together to look at what was being done before – I think before what they did was a competitive bidding for monies on a yearly basis. That was reformed to do something with a more long term approach so that they can be able to plan better and make better use of the monies. But also it is important because this is also a way of bringing in funding to the country, because some of these protected areas are also used for other uses such as tourism.”

Channel 5