British High Commission shows support for FCD Print E-mail
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Friday, 24 May 2019 00:00

British High Commissioner Claire Evans hosted members from Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) and British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) in Belmopan on Friday. Commander of BATSUB, Lt. Col. Si Walton presented clothing and equipment to Raphael Manzanero, the Executive Director of FCD and Joop Hendrikx to assist the FCD Rangers who work extensively in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, helping to protect Belize’s heritage.

The equipment, valued at approximately BZ$25,000, was funded through a UK Stewardship grant, and compliments the ongoing projects that have been funded by the British High Commission, Belmopan, which include Protecting the Bio-cultural Landscape and Mitigating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking in the Chiquibul.

The gifts from the British High Commission will now be put to good use in the south-western region of Belize with over 423,000 acres of tropical forest. The Chiquibul Forest area includes the largest cave system in Central America, the Caracol Mayan Site, the Chiquibul River which provides water to 40% of the Belize population.

The gift from BATSUB at the High Commission Office in the form of gear and equipment to operate in the Chiquibul, includes jungle boots, hammocks, GPS sets, ranger t-shirts and backpacks. These are the necessary essentials to have a more effective patrol system in place.

FCD’s patrol systems are undertaken throughout the Chiquibul Forest and their rangers are posted on several conservation posts where they operate together with BDF, Police and Forest Department personnel. The work there is primarily to reduce incursions and degradation of the forest ecosystem. FCD’s main base is Tapir Camp where rangers work more independently to monitor and conduct surveillance for any human foot print expansion.  Two other units, the Research Unit and Karst Unit centralize their efforts in conducting monitoring and research on natural and cultural features of the Chiquibul Forest and cave system.

“We are extremely grateful for the assistance provided by BATSUB in helping us in an area where we most need it. Gear and equipment in the Chiquibul are always required since these tend not to last for too long due to the terrain and remoteness,” says Manzanero on behalf of FCD.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2019 14:09