The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) continues to be the premier donor to Belize’s National Protected Areas System. On Tuesday, October 1, 2019, PACT continued the roll out of its Conservation Investment Strategy with another investment, this time in multiple Marine Protected Areas under the management of the Belize Fisheries Department. A brief signing ceremony was held to award the $1.15 Million Dollar conservation investment.
This investment is expected to support the Fisheries Department in improving management effectiveness of five Marine Reserves across the Belize Barrier Reef System. Specifically, it will result in improved infrastructure and management presence at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and Glovers Reef Marine Reserve. The importance of this investment was underscored by Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of Environment who stated that “the protected areas to benefit from this investment include sites that are not only key to the sustainability of the fisheries and tourism industries but also to the sustainability of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, our World Heritage Site.”
This award marks the tenth targeted investment award made by PACT towards improved management of the Belize National Protected Areas System (BNPAS) since December 2018. Cumulatively, these investments, made in accordance with PACT’s 2018-2021 Conservation Investment Strategy, will see PACT invest up to a staggering $9.5 Million Dollars in 19 protected areas across the BNPAS over the next three years. Additionally, these investments stand to attract at minimum an additional $12 Million Dollars in leveraged resources from other donors, ballooning the total investment in these sites to over $21 Million Dollars.
In reference to the impacts of PACT’s Conservation Investment Strategy, Mrs. Nayari Diaz-Perez, Executive Director of PACT, noted that “the Conservation Investment Strategy is designed to enable the Trust to make high impact investments to support critical activities in priority ecosystems, with a results-based approach to guarantee that the returns on these investments support the sustainable management of our natural capital and the national development of Belize.”
PACT would like to extend its gratitude to all stakeholders involved and thanks the Belize Fisheries Department for its work in management of Belize’s Marine Reserve Network.