New outpost inaugurated in Chiquibul Print E-mail
( 0 Votes )
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:00

On Monday July 31st, the Forestry Department, Belize Defence Force and the Friends for Conservation and Developmment (FCD) inaugurated a new outpost in the Chiquibul to curb the various threats facing the forests.

Coming at a value of 115 thousand dollars the new facility will be able to accommodate 14 persons, with one of those accommodations specifically designed for a female. The building and watch tower were constructed in under a month. Additionally a road was cleared to the outpost in order for personnel to be able to access the facility at a faster pace.

Minister Omar Figueroa, in addressing the gathering at the opening stated that, “we accomplish another major milestone in the historic Chiquibul forest Investment Initiative.  The extremely important but very challenging task of protecting the ecological and territorial integrity of this immense landscape is today made a little bit easier with the inauguration of the strategic Caballo Conservation Post.” The outpost he said will help curb problems facing the Chiquibul.

He noted that back in 2007, a total of 11 threats to these forests were identified. Those threats are gold mining, logging, hunting, poaching, cattle ranching, marijuana cultivation and slash and burn agriculture.

Figueroa said that, “our efforts are now better organized, more strategic and concerted.  We developed a joint unit patrol program, installed conservation posts, conducted active research and monitoring and introduced inter-institutional planning.  As a result, xaté harvesting and illegal logging have been reduced considerably.  That proves that our collective efforts can and have helped to decrease some of those problems we speak about.

This conservation post, along with our joint effort, will help to prevent the further exploitation of the natural and cultural resources of Belize.  Though the problems that threaten the security and biodiversity of the Chiquibul and surrounding forests are plentiful, we can address them but if left unchecked, the biodiversity and the richness of our protected areas landscape will not be able to sustain itself.  The network of protected areas that is the Chiquibul is, in my opinion, the crown jewel of our protected areas system, and we must make every effort to protect and defend this priceless jewel”.