Valerie Woods-Smith joins PACT

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 9, No. 47            December 9, 1999

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Valerie Woods-Smith, former Director of the Belize Tourism Board and Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Tourism and Youth, has accepted a position as Executive Director of the Protected Area Conservation Trust (PACT) effective December 1st, 1999. Her decision was made after a trial period as Permanent Secretary which she found was not the "hands on" challenge she was accustomed to. Her days were filled with meetings and much paper work. "I like to be directly involved with what I'm doing," stated Ms. Woods-Smith. "With PACT, I get the advantages of still working with tourism except now I'm involved with the actual product and how it benefits the community," she added.   

    She will be working with the Belize Tourism Board again, only on a different level now-with PACT projects. PACT, a relatively new organization is only four years old. Their monies come directly from tourism by way of the $7.50 "green" departure tax. The organization is supported by legislation and all monies are channeled back into areas such as eco-tourism, archaeology, protected areas and environmental awareness. PACT provides funds to support conservation and promote environmentally sound management of Belize's natural and cultural resources. Their long-term goal is to support and facilitate activities which ensure the sustainable use of these as well.

   The San Pedro Sun congratulates Ms. Woods-Smith on her new position and feels confident she will give PACT the same enthusiasm she gave to promoting our "jewel".



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