|Bacalar Chico staff in
front of new facility
Press Release - GOB Press Office - December 10th, 2003 - Minister
of Natural Resources, Hon. John Briceño and Minister of Agriculture and
Fisheries, Hon. Servulo Baeza, were both present today for the
inauguration of a multi-purpose building at the Bacalar Chico Nature
Reserve on Ambergris Caye. The newly completed building houses an
administrative office, visitors' center, bathrooms, a V.I.P. room with
self-contained bathroom, two ranger rooms, a kitchen and warehouse.
During his welcome address, Hon. John Briceño stressed the
importance of protecting Belize's natural environment. "This facility
will help us in our efforts to preserve the environment for future
generations and bring sustainable development to our country," stated
Spearheaded by the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems, the
construction project was completed at a cost of some $200,000 through
funding provided by the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank.
It is envisioned that the new Bacalar Chico Multi-purpose Center
will enhance the public's appreciation and awareness of the sensitive
ecological area on Northern Ambergris. It will also serve to promote an
understanding of Marine Protected Areas, and responsibilities for
natural resource and environmental quality management. Additionally,
the new building will serve as a base from which to implement the
Bacalar Chico Management Plan.
A variety of programs and services will be provided by the trained
staff at the center. The programs are designed to be environmentally
educational and entertaining for individuals, families and organized
groups. Public educational programs, guided walks through a nature
trail and ecological demonstrations are also planned for the area
surrounding the new multi-purpose environmental center.
Present at today's inaugural ceremonies was World Bank
representative Dr. Kathy Mackinnon and representatives of the
Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Systems. The Bacalar Chico Nature Reserve is
located in the proximity of the Belize/Mexico territorial waters and
was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1996.