Green Reef, a local based non-governmental organization founded by Mr. Mito Paz, received approval for a $25,000.00 grant from Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) on Friday, June 26th, 1998.
Green Reef submitted an application for the grant in order to obtain the funding needed to devise and implement a management plan for the island reserves of Little Iguana Caye and Los Salones. The two small islands are situated on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye and are home to many exotic birds such as the Rosette Spoonbill. On April 26th, 1998, the Belize Audubon Society and Green Reef signed a memorandum of understanding in which responsibility for the two island reserves was transferred from the Audubon Society to Green Reef.
According to Mr. Paz, a management plan must be devised. The grant will provide the funds needed to assemble a planning committee consisting of members of Green Reef and the Audubon Society. The planning committee will be required to make educational material about the island reserve, map the area and decide what kind of development will be carried out on or around the islands. Some ideas being considered are: tours, trails, bird watching towers and sidewalks around both islands. Development and implementation of the plans for the two island reserves will be tricky since destruction of the natural habitat, mangroves and other shrubbery, is not an option.
In six months, after the management plan is complete, Green Reef will reapply for another grant that will be used to implement the plan. Mr. Rolando Montero of PACT visited the island reserves on Friday, June 26th and was given a brief tour of the area which will benefit from PACT's funding.
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