Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) had its 22nd Annual General Meeting over the weekend. This year the three main areas of work centered on addressing illegal wildlife hunting, gold panning and cattle ranching. Rangers conducted a total of 362 patrols, representing more than 2,000 hours of active recces with a land coverage of more than 3,000 kilometers on foot and over 4, 000 kilometers on vehicle, aimed at monitoring and targeting poachers which resulted on the encounter of dozens of encroachers. Executive Director, Rafael Manzanero says that these Rangers documented illegal logging, forest fire incidences and further encroachment of Belizean farmers.
Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD: “It is worth dreaming and one of our aspirations remains to see the classification or the reclassification of the western Maya mountains protected areas as the Chiquibul Maya Mountains Pine Ridge Landscape Conservation Trust and advance nomination of the Chiquibul Forest as Belize’s second world heritage site. These two recommendations were highlighted on the Chiquibul Symposium that was held in March of this year and that had the participation and thanks to the Prime Minister of Belize. These classifications will ensure that Belize retains among other things a fresh and abundant supply of fresh water for all Belizeans and a vibrant green economy for the country. So we are poised to assist decision makers, the minister and your ministry in making this happen.”