Several groups and non governmental organizations in the south received an education session on how to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in their communities. Smaller communities are perhaps the most vulnerable when it comes to climate change. Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung spoke to the Belize National Indigenous Council and Representatives of Red Plus about the significance of the training session.
Paul Mahung: “Delegates from Belize National Indigenous Council and representatives of Red Plus Coordinating Unit met in Punta Gorda. The event was coordinated by Maya Leaders Alliance as current Secretariat of Belize’s National Indigenous Council. Program Director of MLA Pablo Mis spoke of the importance of having the participation of delegates from all districts of Belize.”
Pablo Mis: “We are here to sensitize the Toledo Alcalde Association Maya Steering Committee members, Belize National Indigenous Council, Benneck, the Northern Maya Association, National Garifuna Council members about what is Red Plus. So what is Red Plus to us? It is a long term forest-based initiative that seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase carbon sequestration from Belize’s forest. It is very important to educate our Belizean community from north to south and the various stakeholders on the importance of our forest, what it means to us and how we can benefit from our forest.”
Paul Mahung: “Red Plus Project Communications Officer Aurelio Cho spoke of the role of Red Plus Coordinating Unit representatives at the meeting.”
Aurelio Cho Project Communications Officer: “ Delegates from the Belize National Indigenous Council from throughout the six districts of Belize are conveying in Punta Gorda today to raise awareness around the components of the Belize Red Plus Project. The idea here is that there is a unified voice and participation of indigenous people throughout the country. These national projects that the Government of Belize is undertaking, ultimately the objective of the project is to ensure the development of the country, that the protection of the country’s resources are being pursued and it is the position of the Belize National Indigenous Council that to achieve that it must include the participation of local communities particularly in the indigenous communities and that today marks then the step in that direction with the project to ensure that there is effective participation.”
Paul Mahung: “And the group represented here would be?”
Aurelio Cho Project Communications officer: “The Belize National Indigenous Council includes the Maya Yucatec both from the North and from the West. We have the National Garifuna Council who have membership throughout the country and the Maya Yaxche and Mopan from Southern Belize.”
Paul Mahung: “Cho commented that Red Plus is within the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development. The two-day event on Friday and Saturday which brought together representatives from various indigenous cultural groups in Belize was held at Father Ring Parish Haul in Punta Gorda. Paul Mahung Toledo Correspondent Love News.