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Belizean Conservation Groups Gather to Celebrate, Collaborate and Conserve

From Sunday 30th January to Tuesday 1st February, Blancaneaux Lodge in the Mountain Pine Ridge of Belize came alive with more than 40 Belizean and international NGOs, policymakers and community leaders.

The symposium brought together a diverse group to support the conservation of the country’s natural wealth. Belize’s heritage in nature conservation quickly revealed itself as NGOs gathered to celebrate, collaborate and conserve.

Belize is a country that has retained much of its natural resources. The pride in this heritage of stewardship was palpable. Innovative finance mechanisms, community-led conservation, UNESCO World Heritage site designations, successful wildlife rehabilitation programmes; there are endless causes for celebration in Belize’s evolving history of conservation.

Belizean NGOs had the opportunity to share their work with conservation colleagues through panel discussions and short presentations and films. Networking opportunities and celebrations helped spur new and lasting connections. A team of international speakers brought their experience from abroad to bring new ideas to Belize’s conservation challenges, and to learn from the conservation groups of Belize. In the complex world of conservation, collaboration is critical – this was a key takeaway from the three days.

Ideas were exchanged to solve age-old and emerging problems. Key themes included the threat of invasive species, overdevelopment, mass market tourism, rising threats from deforestation and forest degradation, enforcement challenges, and the need to equitably involve Indigenous communities in the management of protected areas. The conference was testament to the cohesion and shared vision of Belize’s conservation groups. New opportunities are arising to marry conservation with development, leveraged with innovative green and blue carbon financing. Now, Belize has the opportunity to be a global model for sustainable conservation. The European Nature Trust would like to thank all those who attended, and all those who made the event possible, including: The Family Coppola Hideaways, Capital Orthopaedics, Bowen & Bowen Ltd., Copalli Rum, Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve, and Gaia Riverlodge

From Belize's national news station, Channel 5 News

From Belize's national news station, Channel 7 News

Read the symposium key findings report

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