Programme for Belize
NGO founded: 1988
Partnership Formed: 1989
Organisation’s aim: To promote the conservation of Belize's natural heritage and the sustainable use of the forest's resources.
Programme for Belize (PfB) was initially formed when the Massachusetts Audubon Society funded a start-up grant to save a region of tropical forests about to be cleared for agriculture. WLT was established to raise funds and provided additional funding towards securing the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area.
Partnership with WLT
The WLT was originally established to raise funds to purchase land through PfB in order to create the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area. The Buy an Acre concept was born and working with overseas project partners has become WLT’s model for effective conservation.
Projects with WLT
With support from newly-formed World Land Trust (known at that time also as Programme for Belize), PfB was able to save initially 110,000 acres of forest that was to be sold to make way for Mennonite agriculture. Since then more land has been added to the protected area and buffer zones created. All the land is now purchased and protected by PfB and WLT remains in close contact and funds other aspects of their work from time to time.
Other projects and activities
- Running two field stations for ecotourism and scientific research: La Milpa and Hill Bank Field Stations;
- Sustainable management of many projects, including ecotourism, sustainable timber extraction, carbon sequestration, agroforestry and extraction of non-timber products;
- Environmental education;
- Professional training;
- Raising environmental awareness.
Awards and achievements
2000: Awarded the ‘Ecotourism Showcase 2000 Award’ at the Non-Profits in Travel Conference for demonstrating how ecotourism can be used as a tool for sustainable conservation management;
2002: Received Honourable mention in the ‘World Legacy Awards Destination Stewardship Category’ for their protection of the natural and cultural heritage of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area;
2007: Received the ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ Award from British Airways for their innovative approach to ecotourism;
2008: Awarded ‘Educational Institution of the Year’ in conjunction with the eighth National Tourism Awards Ceremony, also that year the La Milpa Field Station became a member of the Eco-Index of Sustainable Tourism
Managing Director: Edilberto Romero