In Belize, tropical forests cover 80 percent of the country. The Arbor Day Foundation’s support focuses on conservation efforts in the Maya Forest that are taking place on the Rio Bravo priority site and in the Maya Mountains. A positive impact has already been made on the region through the help of the Foundation’s friends and members.
To help establish sound forest practices, a National Fire Management Policy was developed for the National Forest Department to provide extensive training for forest managers and park guards. Combating such threats to conservation efforts as uncontrolled fires, illegal hunting, extraction of forest products, and advancing agricultural practices are a focus of these forest management activities.
Ongoing research, supported by the Foundation’s members, is now being used to improve the management of protected areas. The Maya Mountains complex, which spans nearly 1.2 million acres across Belize, is one area that is in need of immediate conservation. This once unspoiled forest is being threatened by such dangers as illegal hunting, extraction of forest products, and uncontrolled fires. Arbor Day Foundation support for efforts in this region has helped to more than double the acreage that is currently being managed effectively. Conservation efforts are also focused on consolidating many of the reserves within the Maya Mountains complex. Much as our important work is making an immediate difference today, ongoing research will continue to identify new ways that we’ll make a difference tomorrow.