Networking in Belize

Nicholas Locke, our project manager, has just returned from a workshop organized by the World Land Trust (WLT) and funded by IUCN Netherlands that was held at the La Milpa Field Station, Rio Bravo in Belize. REGUA was one of 18 WLT project partners attending.

The title of the workshop was Financial Sustainability of Private Protected Areas and the objective was to discuss some of the main issues highlighted by partners at the previous meeting held in Amsterdam in September 2006. Topics covered during the meeting included: Payment for Ecological Services (P.E.S.), Carbon Sequestration, Ecological Restoration/Avoided Deforestation, Tourism, Volunteers & Education, Trust/Endowment Funds, Corporate Funding and Social Sustainability/Community Involvement.

Outside the formal sessions there were also many opportunities to discuss issues and plans with other project leaders. Nicholas reports: “it was a real pleasure to participate with all the partners and share experiences at developing strategies on the front line of conservation”. The symposium was closed with a press conference held at the Fort George Hotel in Belize City, and press coverage was given through radio, national television and an article in the ‘Reporter’ newspaper. More on this will follow in our next newsletter.