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Conservation Symposium At Blancaneux, MPR #555324
02/01/22 04:43 AM
02/01/22 04:43 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

For the last two days, Blancaneaux Lodge has played host to the Belize 2022; Conservation Symposium. It's a first-of-its-kind event that's brought together most if not all of Belize's environmental NGOs as well as a handful of their international counterparts.

It's an opportunity to Celebrate Belize's environmental accomplishments, Collaborate on future successes and continue the work of conservation.

This symposium was really the brainchild of European nature trust founder Peter Lister. He's handpicked many of the international participants all of whom have a breadth of knowledge and experience in this integral field. One such participant is Ignacio Jimenez, a Spaniard who spent over two decades working on re-wilding efforts in Argentina. He traveled to Belize for this symposium and this afternoon he shared some advice for Belize conservation efforts with Cherisse Halsall. Here's more

Ignacio Jimenez, Coordinator of Protected Areas, Fundacion Global Nature
"My role was to bring ideas from outside that they already knew but that they could be like okay this guy has this experience and is saying something similar but I mean if I had to kind of summarize this concept I think if you are going to talk to the public and you want the public to care about conservation move from a message of disaster to a message of wonder because conservationist tends to say oh! No, we're losing this, we're losing this. No, we have this and it's amazing but we have to take care of it because it's fragile and if you're going to talk to the government and politicians, move from complaining to possibilities. So, instead of Mr. Minisister Mr. President we need more money because we are doing this and we don't have resources you say wow we have this opportunity and this is great the Maya, Mountains, we have Caracol and we have this culture you put all this together and you invest a little, it's gonna be great and it's gonna be good for nature, it's gonna be good for people and it's going to be good for you as an authority."

Channel 7

Re: Conservation Symposium At Blancaneux, MPR [Re: Marty] #555330
02/01/22 05:11 AM
02/01/22 05:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
A Conservation Symposium lead by the European Nature Trust and the Family Coppola Hideaways has brought together key conservation stakeholders both at the local and international level as well as the governmental level. The 3-day symposium which got underway yesterday includes presentations and panels on the discussion on the “Future of the Flora and Fauna of Belize”.

CEO Kennedy of the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation participated in the panel on “ Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Development including the Blue Bonds. The Panel included Julie Robinson of the The Nature Conservancy, Janelle Chanana of Oceana and Rachel Graham of Mar Alliance.

The work of conservation is central to a successful and productive Blue Economy!!

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Re: Conservation Symposium At Blancaneux, MPR [Re: Marty] #555347
02/02/22 05:42 AM
02/02/22 05:42 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Conservation Groups Come Together

Last night we told you about the "Belize 2022: Conservation Symposium", a meeting of the majority of Belize's NGOs in one place with something of an open agenda.

They came to present their work in conservation and to learn what their counterparts are doing in the field.

Ultimately though, the Symposium served as an incubator for Belize's global brand as a multifaceted conservator, one in which each of the country's NGOs will play an intrinsic role. Cherisse Halsall attended all three days of the conference. She's brought back this story.

And tomorrow night we'll take you back to the conservation symposium to talk to the man who put it all together.

Channel 7

Re: Conservation Symposium At Blancaneux, MPR [Re: Marty] #555352
02/02/22 07:03 AM
02/02/22 07:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Symposium Celebrates Belize’s Conservation Achievements

A three-day conservation symposium concluded today in Mountain Pine Ridge. It provided a platform for environmental N.G.O.s and public sector entities to update each other on the work that has been ongoing as a conservation community. The effects of the pandemic and climate change were among the issues discussed. There was also an opportunity to hear from international stakeholders on conservation efforts in three other continents, and how those best practices could be adopted in Belize. News Five’s Duane Moody reports from the Blancaneaux Lodge.

Duane Moody, Reporting

Stakeholders in the conservation community in Belize have been engaged in two and a half days of networking and presentations that “celebrate and collaborate” the achievements of Belize in its conservation efforts so far.

Paul Lister, Founder/Trustee, The European Nature Trust

“When people ask me what do I do for a living, I like connecting people to nature – that’s my biggest goal – and I am a bit of a tree hugger so I love forests, I love all that you have here and Belize is really special. Belize has a high percent of its landscape still intact and when you come from Britain, you realise just how much is missing.”

Amanda Burgos, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society

“One of the things that has come across really strongly is how impressive Belize really is. These people have gotten an opportunity to go out to Turneffe, some of them have gone into Chiquibul, some of them have gone to the new Maya Forest Corridor and it is really to highlight the work of Belize and Belizean N.G.O.s.”

Belize has been exemplary in the region with its conservation efforts. Approximately sixty-four percent of Belize remains under forest cover with one hundred and three maritime and terrestrial protected areas. And the Coppola Family Hideaways’ Blancaneaux Lodge nested in the highly vegetated Mountain Pine Ridge out west was the ideal location chosen for this conservation symposium.

Martin Krediet, General Manager, Coppola Family Hideaways

“Coppola Resorts and especially Blancaneaux Lodge is off the grid, it runs on its own hydro system, has its own organic garden so it was just a perfect spot to conceptualise this first symposium. It was time for all the N.G.O.s to stick their heads together and sit around the table to compare efforts and see what we can combine. This idea was born about a year ago between T.E.N.T. and myself here, Paul Lister is a very good friend and here we are, it’s happening.”

And so it provided a space for conservation groups in Belize to network and share their experiences with international conservationists, who, like them, have also been battling similar phenomenon, including the challenges brought about by climate change.

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, Friends for Conservation & Development

“The presentation was outlining how they managed the forest fires which we are standing here in the mountain pine ridge and that is one of the things that the forestry department has been conducting for many years. But there are other areas such as in the Chiquibul where fires did not really use to occur at that intensity, which really marks in terms of the climate change. So we basically have seen now that that is another threat and thus now we have to put interventions to address that. The interventions for us have been like training because we had not have training for fire-fighting and also the acquisition of tools. So we are building on that kind of capability.”

Amanda Burgos

“We’re gonna be talking about stony oral tissue loss disease and the fact that this disease is really affecting our reef and we are trying to be proactive, but it is caused by shipping vessels, ballast water, sediments – stuff that we can’t control. What’s in the ocean is in the ocean, but we are being proactive in Belize and Belizean marine sites take a lot of effort, a lot of money to maintain it. We manage the more iconic Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye, but it is a dive site and snorkelling and those things have to be monitored.”

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust was among the last presentations made today. Accessing finances for conservation projects is among the support that PACT provides.

Nayari Perez, Executive Director, Protected Areas Conservation Trust

“PACT has been instrumental especially over the last two years that we have been battling the pandemic and the effects it has had in the protected areas and the access to financial resources to do the very important work. PACT itself has been over the years identifying those broader strategic opportunities that we have to help mobilize resources for protected areas work in Belize. And that is why we have expanded and evolve from just a trust fund that’s generating its own revenue and investing that back into the protected areas system, but we have created other portfolios of work. For example to access and mobilize climate finance which is a significant source of income right now and climate is intricately linked with natural resource management and protected areas.”

While it was hosted by international partners, the Belizean stakeholders are motivated to make this event an annual national symposium.

Paul Lister

“Areas of the world like Belize, which are small nations, low populations, they got something very unique, very special. And what’s really important is how to capitalise on that and that’s the key that everyone is looking to the answer for. How to actually make this sort of blue/green nature tourism the right kind of tourism, bringing in the right kind of dollars and brining in the right interests?”

Nayari Perez

“I think it has started a very important conversation that we now locally have to continue as a community. The landscape in which we are operating now, in protected areas, the work on the ground, the financing is a completely different landscape now. We are in a different time and a different space and so this forum has kick-started that conversation for us.”

Channel 5

Re: Conservation Symposium At Blancaneux, MPR [Re: Marty] #555365
02/03/22 05:08 AM
02/03/22 05:08 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 83,953
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

The Flashpoint At Blancaneux

We're taking you back to Blancaneaux Lodge and the Belize 2022: Conservation symposium for one of the more passionate moments of the NGO gathering.

Here's what happened when Flora and Fauna's Ambassador for Central America publicly clashed with the spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Association and the Toledo Alcades Association. It happened in the middle of the Ambassador's presentation and Cherisse Halsall was right there to capture it on her cell phone's camera.

Yesterday marked the end of the Belize 2022 Conservation Symposium and while we've given you the low down on the presentations, we didn't show you this moment, where things got slightly contentious between the spokesperson for the MLA and TAA Cristina Coc and the Central American Ambassador for Flora and Fauna International, Lisel Alamilla.

It happened during the Ambassador's presentation on FFI's most recent land purchase in the Toledo District when Coc decided that she couldn't hold back her opinion anymore:

Cristina Coc:
"It is gonna become volatile. We can't wait until that time. We have to do something about it in the interim. So we have to think about the short term, what happens now before we think about the long term, who ends up being the owner of this land at the end of the day. And in the short term right now, Yo Creek getting these types of tensions because on the one hand, yes you have avoided the banana farmers but on the other hand what is the fear? Maya people use that land for their livelihoods, the dry season is upon us and they will go ahead and farm and that is an issue that Flora and Fauna will have to contend with. It can't be that you completely ignore the CCJ consent order and the affirmed rights that exist over them."

Lisel Alamilla:
"I agree with you that we have to sit down and dialogue with the Maya people but Cristina you are not the Maya people, you are one of them but you are not the Maya people."

Lisel Alamilla, Ambassador for Central America, FFI
"I said to her, well Christina Coc, you are not the Maya people."

Cherisse Halsall:
"And I want to give you an opportunity to provide some clarity because that's the part of the exchange that some would find, forgive me, a bit offensive, how do you rationalize it?"

Lisel Alamilla, Ambassador for Central America, FFI
"Well, it's clear she is not the Maya people not all Maya people think alike and agree with her opinions and the opinions and beliefs she holds. First of all it is my understanding that Christina is a technical officer for one of the Maya organizations, she is not even an Alcalde, so is she speaking does she have greater authority than the Alcaldes of this community? Does she have greater authority than the decision-making of these communities? So that really was the question, you are not the Maya people, yes you're a Maya woman, yes you're a Maya activist, yes to all of those claims or not claims because she is an activist, she is a leader in the space in which she works but she cannot be speaking for all Maya people."

Cristina Coc, Spokesperson, TAA, MLA
"I think FFI could have taken a different approach, I think with the right people in place they could have taken a different approach."

"I don't know if this is the position of FFI. I know that this is the position of the former commissioner, I know that is very personal for Lisell and it's unfortunate, today you heard her say you're not the Maya people, that is very true. I never claim to be the Maya people but I am the spokesperson for the traditional governance institutions of the maya people. So, what I have to say is also important but if you want to go to the people directly I have not seen you go to indian Creek to try and talk to Indian Creek in a respectful and meaningful way and so that is very important I think to ask FFI is this your mandate, is this what you want to do are you a conservation organization that is going globally and buying off indigenous people's lands."

"You had many years to really do good, to really implement in addition to the fact that you should have been fully aware of paragraph four of the consent order which is that says the government would be in contempt of court if it facilitated the sale of that land because there is an interim measure in place, and interim safeguard under paragraph four which says that the government should seize and desist from any further sales of land right, and so that is really important information that was shared today. It's critical it's very important and certainly it will be something that will be reported back to the Caribbean court of Justice."

And while we wait to see whether this issue is indeed settled in court, Alamilla says they may have more common ground than they realize.

Lisel Alamilla
"I just want to say that sometimes we actually coincide but we aren't listening to one another and we're talking a different language when actually we want the same thing, so that is my opening to say, actually you might find an ally in us and in fact the MLA, TAA and whoever else is interested might find that engaging FFI in a friendly and approachable manner might in fact reap greater benefits than wasting your time going to court and filing reports."

Channel 7

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