Through the Ministry of Natural resources, the Government of Belize has committed to start their Land Degradation Neutrality Target Programme. The validation workshop took place at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. Key stakeholders from the private and public sectors were present for their validation. Michelle Alvarez, Focal Point for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, stated that once they have established their targets, they will look at transformative projects.
Michelle Alvarez, Focal Point, UNCCD: “We have established a national working group that is comprised of key public and private sector partners, NGOs and CSOs with tertiary level institutions, research institutions and our international lending agencies. We have established our national leverage plan that seeks to synchronize our national policies and development plans with the aim of mainstreaming land degradation neutrality. What we’re doing here today is to validate the baseline data that we have been using, looking at indicators; we’ve done some analysis on the drivers and the direct and indirect drivers and the trends towards land degradation. The three indicators that are being used are land cover, soil organic carbon and land fertility. It’s to combat desertification , as you know we have been experiencing a drought this past year but then there are instances where we have – well a drought is an extreme climatic event and in some instances we have extreme hurricanes so we’re going to extremes in climatic conditions and we’re trying to build resilience in our communities and to safeguard their livelihoods and securing food security. Well our first action was to develop a national leverage plan and that’s basically like a platform where we have all our national policies and legislations and national development plans, this is why we are using the national working group so that all the players are at the table talking and then ultimately we will provide some guidance to the government regulatory agencies as to how we go about setting the targets.”
The target setting process commenced in August 2019 and the intended deadline is in March 2020.