Chaa Creek's Maya 'organic' Farm - a model of best practice
It is the aim of Nurture Belize to promote sustainable practices within the tourism sector. In order to achieve these goals Nurture Belize aims to work closely with a number of key partners; GSTC, Rainforest Alliance and STI (Sustainable Travel International) amongst others. If a member of Nurture Belize is labelled or certified by a recognized sustainable tourism organization it will be highlighted as part of their profile as recognition of their commitment.
Belize clearly has a choice in the way forward. The economic development choices it makes will impact biodiversity, water quality and security, and the social fabric of Belize.
As individuals and industry stakeholders the time has come to ask if large scale condo developments, casinos, unbridled cruise ship visitation, off-shore drilling for oil, agricultural monoculture and hydro-electic power schemes truly represent what the people of Belize want?
How will the above impact Belize’s water supply and quality of water? How will Belize’s riverside and coastal communities survive the flooding caused by the increased frequency of extreme weather events if deforestation of the Maya Mountain Massif and coastal mangroves goes unchecked?
Are there alternatives to current economic development models that often reward just a small segment of society and potentially bring long term damage to the environment?
Belize is yet to fully explore a wide range of environmental services, or the community based co-management of forest reserves that currently lack protection or funding .
The benefits of REDD and REDD+ initiatives for the Chiquibul Forest, Programme for Belize lands and coastal mangrove stands could be significant creating funding and employment if they can gain government support. Learn more about REDD+
Sustainable tourism initiatives at Belize’s hotels and resorts have already begun to show not only benefits to the environmental and financial savings for their owners but perhaps more importantly hotel staff are receptive to taking the most relevant sustainable practices home to implement them in their own communities.
If Nurture Belize can inspire stakeholders and show case a wide range of community based sustainable tourism projects Belize will have a better chance of developing a sustainable future that thrives on attracting high value experiential tourists that nurture rather than negatively impact Belize’s biodiversity.