The Chiquibul Forest: Protecting this Jewel is our Responsibility
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Tuesday August 6, 2013

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In the midst of the rolling hills, Belize's mountainous region, bi-national river system, and rich cultural heritage is found FCD actively engaged to conserve some of Belize's most impressive wonders. Co-managing the largest protected area in Belize, namely the Chiquibul National Park and managing the Chiquibul Cave System considered as the largest of its type in Central America, tagged with our various community development and public outreach programs certainly is a privilege to all of us that comprise the conservation non-profit organization. Yet, the challenges are diverse and complicated.. Day to day we face a dire reality where the flora and fauna are being extirpated. To address the challenges, it is clear to us that a multi-effort must be part of the solution. I want to encourage you, therefore, that as you visit our website, to consider yourself part of this important endeavor which many us are pursuing in our quest to protect the beauty of Belize.
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The Chiquibul Forest: Protecting this Jewel is our Responsibility

Representing 7.7% of Belize's land mass, this majestic Maya forest is the birthplace of the Great Belize River Watershed; haven for scarlet macaws; home of the largest caverns, highest point and tallest Maya temple.

The standing forests of Belize add great value to our planet!

Standing forests provide many services that have great ecological, economical and social value. They provide shelter to wildlife, protect flagship species for tourism such as the tapir, jaguars and scarlet Macaws, replenish game species such as the gibnut, armadillo and peccaries and protect the homes of natural pollinators like bees and butterflies.

Forests contribute to fertile soils necessary in cultivating food crops; furthermore, they stabilize soils, reducing erosion. Forests have great cultural value to surrounding forest communities, by providing non-timber forest products such as the cohune leaves, firewood and medicinal plants. Forests help filter and supply fresh clean water for the day to day activities of Belizeans. Forests provide necessary oxygen to all of us on planet Earth.

Forests store tons of carbon, keeping us cool. In Central America, Belize has one of the highest forest covers, thanks to collaborative efforts. Ya’axché protects over 151,000 acres of forest across Golden Stream Corridor Preserve, Maya Mountain North Forest Reserve and the Bladen Nature Reserve.

Photograph courtesy Friends for Conservation and Development

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