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GOB and PACT Launch Third Year of Conservation Investment Program

The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT), and the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management have committed an investment of three point eight seven million dollars in the Belize National Protected Areas System (BNPAS). The funding is a part of PACT’s Conservation Investment Strategy (CIS) that seeks to maximize conservation return on investments with the aim of improving management capacity, building financial sustainability, and providing community benefits. Under the CIS, PACT has committed to a three-year period under its targeted investment portfolio aimed at directly supporting twenty-two marine and terrestrial protected areas. Nyari Diaz Perez, Executive Director of the organization says that the permanent program is aligned with the government’s national plan of sustainable development.

Nyari Perez, Executive Director, PACT: “The conservation investment program is one of the programs that we have at PACT. It is the core program of work whereby we invest financial resources into the national protected areas system of Belize in support of the sustainable management of those protected areas. This program supports a lot of the work that cuts across the sustainable development goals and so it is directly aligned with contribution to the achievement of the targets of the government’s sustainable development agenda for the country and so we support everything from the social aspects, environmental aspects as well as financial aspects as well.”

Perez says that the two previous years of the program have seen tremendous growth in the way the nation’s protected areas are managed and the way PACT’s partners are able to garner support from international sources.

Nyari Perez, Executive Director, PACT: “Over the last two years we have invested a little over $9.5 million dollars and what we have seen is an increase in overall management effectiveness of the protected areas meaning we have seen where the enforcement presence in protected areas has led to an increase in the protection of forests, of biodiversity and other resources. It has also led to an increase in the socioeconomic benefits that are being provided to the communities that live and use the resources of those protected areas as well as improving the capacity to manage these areas in the government agencies as well as in nongovernmental agencies that have the responsibility of the day to day management of the protected areas. So one of the greatest benefits we have seen is overall effectiveness in these institutions carrying out their role. Additionally what the PAC Financial Support has been able to do especially in the current global economic context is provide all our partners the ability to attract additional resources. So we have been able to leverage the financial investment by PAC into the protected areas system where we have been seeing that for every dollar invested by PACT we have been able to leverage and additional dollar and forty two cents from other sources thereby increasing the availability of funding the carry out the work of protected areas management.”

Perez noted that as a result of the innovations made in PACT’s conservation financing approach, the Belize National Protected Areas System (BNPAS) has benefitted from increases in enforcement presence within protected areas, detection of infractions, and successful prosecutions.