Biodiversity Plan launched in San Ignacio Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 June 2018 00:00

The Belize National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) was launched at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town last Thursday. Also taking place at this same event was an initiative between the Forestry Department as well as  the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council for the beautification of the Twin Towns--with the planting of trees. Both game changing events were held in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Belize becoming a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

At the eventful launching, one of the first speakers was Mayor Earl Trapp Junior from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, who reported that Belize was among the 194 member Countries committed to conserving biodiversity in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. More locally, Mayor Trapp also said that the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council was fulfilling that promise by working towards a natural history trail along the Macal River and was keeping the river free of trash with the help of the Police Cadets, Department of the Environment and business community.

Speaking to students from both the Nazarene and Sacred Heart Primary, Dr. Percival Cho, the Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration, eloquently defined biodiversity. “Biodiversity is the sum of all life on Earth that is from bacteria to blue whales, from the fungus to the red wood tree in California, millions of species of plants and animals are what we refer to as biodiversity of the Earth.”

He also described the stark realities now facing humanity. “One startling fact is that never before in the history of Earth has one [within] the millions of species had such dominion over all others, human kind,  at over eight billion presently on Earth has now spun the Earth into what we call the anthropocene,  which is an era of unprecedented biodiversity loss, pollution, land cover change, over-exploitation of natural resources and climate change; scientists across the world agree that the impacts we are causing will leave a permanent record on the geological history of this earth”

The Keynote address on Thursday for the launching of the NBSAP was the Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, The Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration. Hon. Figueroa noted that the NBSAP was a clear signal from Government on the importance of our natural capital. “We committed to do our part as one of many nations around the world to manage and use biodiversity wisely, for the benefit of all humanity, part of this commitment involved the development of the national strategies and plans to guide us in conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity at the national level; the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action plan is Belize’s principal instrument for executing our natural resource management actions.”

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust Representative and other key stakeholders were also presented with an official copy of the NBSAP 2016-2020 by the Hon. Dr. Omar Figueroa. Such a valuable document is a product of the Government of Belize, the NBSAP development team, the United Nations Development Program UNDP and the Global Environment Facility GEF.

The NBSAP itself is a five year plan set within a fifteen year framework (aligning with the Horizon 2030 national development framework), and is designed to achieve that national vision. Indeed; since 2016, Government had begun leading the process in preparing Belize’s NBSAC.

As the National Focal Point for the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Forestry Department holds responsibility for the mainstreaming and coordinated implementation of the NBSAP, through the proposed establishment of the Biodiversity Office BIO. (At the Guardian we will be monitoring closely as the BIO takes shape; given its critical role to National Development.)

Following the launch of the NBSAP, trees were also planted at the Falcon Field. With the planting of these trees, it set apace plans for a greener landscape.

A release from the Forestry Department states as follows:

In celebrating 25 years of biodiversity, the Forest Department continued its sustainable cities initiative by donating and pledging 1,000 trees to the San Ignacio Town Council. During the Biodiversity Celebrations ceremony on May 31st, 2018 in the twin-towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the Mayor, His Lordship Earl Trapp, signed the partnership agreement with the Forest Department to build greener spaces within the municipality by 2020.

Hon. Omar Figueroa was the first to plant the trees in the Falcon Field Area. Minister Figueroa applauded the Town Council’s efforts to build greener communities.  Chief Executive Officer, Percival Cho, and Diane Wade Moore, UNDP Programme Analyst, were among those who were also part of the day’s celebrations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 June 2018 11:47