Increased Guatemalan Incursions Spark Concerns in Columbia Forest Reserve

Increased Guatemalan Incursions Spark Concerns in Columbia Forest Reserve

In recent months, Guatemalan incursions in the Columbia Forest Reserve have increased and sparked major concerns among environmentalists. The protected area has seen an increase in illegal logging, with Guatemalans building bridges and roads in the reserve. The concern has been echoed by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, who believe the government is not doing enough to safeguard the natural resources. The Belize Defense Force destroyed the structures, but the illegal loggers are already building them back. The force attributed the difficulty of patrolling the area to the lack of boots on the ground and floated the idea of receiving assistance from an NGO. Yesterday, Minister of Sustainable Development Orland Habet was asked about the possibility and said it is something he’d consider. 

The reserve is in the Toledo District.

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