After a long gap in posts I’m now hoping to get back on track, refocus and breathe new life into Nurture Belize.
I resigned my position with Coppola Resorts just before Christmas so I’ve been focusing on how to move forward with life, and work. After 25+ years working with tourism to Belize and about 20 years being associated with Coppola Resorts I’m not about to now abandon Belize even though getting back may now be much less frequent than I’d like.
Capturing adult Scarlet Macaws to fit satellite telemetry devices to gather much needed data on a little known natural history © Charles Britt
We’re now back into the nesting season for Scarlet Macaws and it’s time to be vigilant. I’m closely following the activities of Roni Martinez, Charles Britt and their “Scarlet Six” team via FaceBook. Let’s hope the “Scarlet Six” along with, local volunteers and FCDs rangers can keep the macaws and their chicks safe from persistent poachers.
There’s a nice trip report by Christopher Gabbard, the Executive Director of Tulsa based Rainforest Restoration Fund that can be read by clicking here.
The Rainforest Restoration Fund is one of the main sources of grant funding for the annual monitoring and nest protection work undertaken by Roni Martinez and Charles Britt.
One of the things that I like most about what Roni is doing is that he’s using FaceBook to reach out to both a domestic and international audience. To compliment the small number of paid, well trained Belizean monitoring staff at the nesting sites (paid for by the RRF and Loro Parque grants) Roni recruits volunteers that spent one or more nights guarding nests in the Chiquibul. Many of these volunteers were Belizean. This is a smart strategy as the future of conservation in Belize and the survival of the macaws will ultimately be in the hands of passionate and motivated Belizeans’. FCD is also working on a similar strategy with the hope that the 2013 nesting season can be even more successful than this years.
Channel 5 News and Channel 7 News carry stories today indicating that significant numbers of Guatemalan’s are illegally panning for gold in the Ceibo Chico region of the southern Chiquibul. Raphael Manzanero, the Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development is obviously very concerned about the environmental damage that is resulting from the illegal panning and settlement. FCD have been monitoring the situation since last October but with few resources and a delicate political problem there is little they can do other than try and gain support for action through the media.
Over the weekend I saw a very interesting article on the BBCs on-line site about Nicaragua’s eco-soldiers and their bid to stop illegal logging and deforestation. Please click on the link to view the full article – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17062806
Protected areas all over Central America and indeed the tropics are facing huge threats and economic losses from illegal logging. Nicaragua has understood that small NGOs and small rural communities cannot stand up to the firepower and threat posed by these illegal timber traffickers and have launched ‘Operation Green Gold’.