Calls for help in policing and protecting the Chiquibul have been ongoing for years. Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) has tried fundraisers and the likes to gain funds to protect the area while the Belize Defence Force has placed dozens of its men in the area to keep watch. Last December four agencies teamed up to make the Chiquibul Forest Investment Initiative (CFII); namely the FCD, the BDF, the Forest Department and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust. Today, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) handed over six brand new vehicles to the Initiative with three allotted for the BDF while the other three will receive one vehicle each. According to Rafael Manzanero, the Executive Director for FCD, he is delighted that attention is finally directed to the Chiquibul while BDF Commander says the vehicles will be put to good use.
Speaking on behalf of the Government was Minister of State for the Ministry of the Environment, Omar Figueroa.
The vehicles are to be used for the enforcement in the Chiquibul and surrounding forest areas. The donation has a value of just over four hundred and fifty thousand dollars. PACT has contributed over two million dollars to the Initiative; the largest grant they have allotted to any one project.