After eight years, the second Chiquibul Symposium was held virtually on Sunday. The symposium was held virtually under the theme Restoring a National Patrimony. The Chiquibul Forest is extremely important for the country but the vast dense jungle and its inhabitants face many threats including forest fires, deforestation and encroachment. The symposium focused on the state of the Chiquibul and Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Orlando Habet highlighted the importance of protecting the Chiquibul.
Hon. Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management: “The theme “Restoring a National Patrimony” is fitting for this symposium since the research, studies and mere observation demonstrates that there is a recovery of the area rendering it safer even for the common visitor. Nature is resilient and in the Chiquibul nature is being reclaimed and restored. The wildlife is returning and stocks of species under threat are recovering well. However we must be conscious that any rich resource such as those found in the Chiquibul can always remain threatened by the short term benefits and interests. The Chiquibul Jungles contain numerous goods and services for the many rural and urban communities. Water is but only one of those goods derived. While it is known that Belize boasts one of the highest per capita assignations in the Americas it is well documented that over 40% of the Belizean population depends on the Chiquibul headwaters for this basic yet valuable and more so indispensable resource.”