Belize is an amazing country where warm, humid jungles, cool tropical rivers, mangrove forests, and wildlife abound. I am an ecologist drawn to Belize as a special place where I can escape into deep wilderness. To walk a jungle trail used by jaguars and tapirs while raucous flocks of parrots angrily scold the world as they storm overhead exhilarates me. I relish my time in Belize. Thus, I am excited by Belize’s growing conservation efforts and push towards developing a sustainable ecotourism economy. Belize is making great strides setting aside tracts of land for national parks, wildlife refuges, and preserves. In addition, privately-owned preserves are on the rise. Recent efforts include expanding the Maya Forest Corridor as an essential part of the Jaguar Corridor Initiative, which is establishing protected habitat from northern Mexico to Brazil. This year, Belize signed a Blue Bond Agreement; the first of its kind. In this agreement, developed by The Nature Conservancy, Belize agreed to a financial transaction enabling a $364 million reduction in debt burden and in so doing generating a potential $180 million for marine conservation including protection of 30% of Belize’s coastal waters. An environmentally sensitive region south of Belize City is where a series of brackish water lagoons are less than a mile inland from the Caribbean Sea. Some of these lagoons are within the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary comprised of 22 terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. One of the purposes of the sanctuary is to protect the endangered Antillean manatee and two…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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