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University of Belize hosts 6th Natural Resources Management Symposium Print E-mail
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Friday, 30 March 2012 00:00

Scientists from the University of Belize (UB) and Belize as well as natural resources managers and students of the university along with regional and international counterparts converged on March 22 and 23, at the University of Belize Central Campus, Belmopan to chart the way for the sustainable management of natural resources in Belize.

The two-day symposium was held under the theme: “Conservation through Cooperation: Practical Approaches for the Management of Natural Resources in Belize.”  It was designed to bring together researchers, managers, students, government agencies, and NGOs engaged in natural resource management in Belize, to share their findings and evaluate the status of resource management in the country.

Keynote speaker, UB’s scientist, Dr. Elma Kay of the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) led off with a presentation on ‘Partnerships for Conservation and Sound Natural Resources Management in Belize: The ERI Experience.’ ERI, the premier environmental research institute in Belize, provides sound science and creates a culture of evidence-based decision-making in areas relevant to Belize’s sustainable development.

In relation to conservation through cooperation, topics spawned from Marine Management and Fisheries; Strengthening Community Relations/Safeguarding Belize Audubon Society (BAS) Protected Areas; Co-management in Caye Caulker Marine Reserve; and the Revision of the Fisheries Act – A modern, Progressive Legal Framework for Belize by Belize’s Fisheries Administrator, Ms. Beverly Wade.

Other topics of critical significance included Key Marine Species at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll: Blue Hole and Half-Moon Caye Natural Monuments; managing lionfish invasion; Cooperation for Wildlife Conservation Human-wildlife-conflict; Terrestrial Assessments; Species of Concern, Central Biological Corridor and Fields; Isolated and under threat: Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul Forest of Belize; and the Noninvasive Tracking of Jaguars (Panthera onca) and Co-Occurring Wild Felids in Belize.

The event ended with closing remarks by UB Lecturer Mr. Santos Chicas, President of the Meso-American Society for Biology and Conservation.

 Coordinators of the NRM Symposium were the University of Belize (UB) through ERI, the Meso-American Society for Biology and Conservation (MSBC), and Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN).