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Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management Receives Donation of Equipment

A batch of equipment was recently donated by KFW German Development Bank for the capacity building to the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). It is expected that management of the Sarstoon Temash National Park by SATIIM and the Forest department will improve greatly as a result of the donation. Hipolito Novelo reports.

The Sarstoon Temash National Park is nestled between the Sarstoon and Temash rivers in Southern Belize. It’s a sprawling dense jungle, covering more than forty one thousand acres of broadleaf, wetland and mangrove forest. The reserve is managed through a partnership between the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the Forest Department. But managing such a large area isn’t an easy task. Recently, several pieces of equipment were donated by the KFW German Development Bank to improve capacity. 

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer, D.O.E.

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer, D.O.E.: “I agree that this is a significant milestone for us as partners in the co-management of the Sarstoon Temash National Park and as well to highlight the investments that we have jointly made but also more significantly the investments that have been made through the KFW German Development Bank in assisting the NGO in improving and strengthening it’s management capacity for the Sarstoon Temash National Park but also the buffer communities around the park itself which is a significant investment also that SATIIM makes in terms of empowering the communities around the Sarstoon Temash National Park.”

Chief Forest Officer, Wilbur Sabido says that while the donation from the bank may be looked at as a small step to improving the management, for the DOE, it is a significant step in strengthening capacity and fast tracking a management plan for the Sarstoon Temash National Park. 

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer, D.O.E.: “And so the intention here is to improve and go from strength to strength in terms of community development, in terms of protection, in terms of surveillance, in terms of biodiversity monitoring at the same time and of course in terms of empowerment and as well the improvement of livelihoods of the communities.”

SATIIM’s Maya Choc says that the communities are grateful for the donation. Choc says that the equipment will assist greatly in the monitoring the reserve. 

Maya Choc, SATIIM

Maya Choc, SATIIM: “On behalf of SATIIM we’re very happy to receive all of these donations that will help us in the monitoring of the national park. We have our community here Graham Creek we’re happy and we hope to have a continued healthy working relationship with the Forest Department and we’d like to thank you all, the PACT, the Selv Maya Project for all of this contribution. Thank you.”