Programme for Belize (PfB) is busy in the early stages of recovering from the deadliest Atlantic hurricane to affect Central America for more than ten years.
World Land Trust (WLT) launched an emergency appeal two weeks ago to raise money for conservation partner PfB to aid with the costs of forest recovery and fire protection. So far the Belize Hurricane Emergency Fund has raised £4,797 of the £10,000 target.
As the fallen trees are now starting to die, the damage to the forest has become more visible, with only palm trees and smaller trees left standing.
A preliminary aerial survey showed more than 50 per cent tree damage to the forests. This damage will make the ecosystem more vulnerable to forest fires during the dry season and PfB will have to invest heavily in extra fire prevention measures.
Main road cleared
By focussing all staff efforts on clearing storm debris from the road, PfB have managed to regain vehicle access to Hill Bank Field Station.
However, PfB will still require another few weeks to clear the debris from the station and road sides, and as the rangers have to return to their normal duties they will have to hire extra staff to continue the clean-up.
Vladimir Rodriguez, the Manager of Hill Bank Field Station, has said “From the looks of it I would say that we got a direct hit in this area from this hurricane. The forest all around has received significant damage and will likely require a fly over to determine the exact extent of the damage.”
World Land Trust is raising money to support Programme for Belize in the wake of this disaster. We are aiming to raise at least £10,000 to support the restoration of the forest and the extra fire prevention measures made necessary by the storm.