Staff from Programme for Belize (PfB), conservation partner of World Land Trust (WLT), were recently involved in a successful protection operation to catch illegal loggers.
With the support of the Belize Defence Force, the police and the Forest Department, an illegal logger was arrested and charged in court. In all, eight mahogany logs, 10 pine logs, a tractor and trailer were confiscated.
Although the fine received by the logger was small, US $500 (BZ $1,000), it sends a strong message to the illegal loggers and the magistrate warned that if there is a re-occurrence the penalty would be more severe.
Since the arrest, the San Felipe savannah area of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area has remained free of illegal logging. However, PfB are preparing for a renewed activity, as they are sure that the loggers will want to make up for the losses that they incurred.
Keepers of the Wild
Although PfB’s current Keeper of the Wild Javier Sutherland was not involved in this latest incident, the presence of rangers is integral in making these operations possible. With a Keeper of the Wild funded through WLT, the increased number of rangers allows PfB to maintain a good rotation schedule, while still carrying out effective patrols.
“Many thanks to WLT, our friends and supporters for making the Keepers of the Wild programme possible. With your help we will ensure that the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area continues to be protected and thrive with all its wildlife.” Said Edilberto Romero, Executive Director of Programme for Belize.
You can help to protect RBCMA and support conservation in Belize by supporting WLT’s Keepers of the Wild programme.
On World Ranger Day in 2015 WLT launched Keepers of the Wild 2020, to raise £750,000 to guarantee the Keepers of the Wild programme between 2016 and 2020.