The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) was formally established as a legally registered non-profit, non-governmental organization in October of 2007.
The establishment of APAMO grew out of the recognition of the problems and challenges that resulted from inadequate and ineffective coordination among protected areas management organizations. Although the number of protected areas in Belize had grown, protected areas management agencies had been operating in isolation from each other. As a result, each organization was forced to deal with their problems alone. There was no networking system in place for organizations to address with common problems. Independent and oftentimes inconsistent efforts from various agencies at various times as well as the inability to lobby with one networked voice confirmed the perception that the management agencies are weak and have little impact on the development of Belize and protected areas at a national level. The founding members of APAMO also recognized the need to aggressively lobby the Government of Belize as well as international agencies for stronger support and commitment for the conservation and management of protected areas.
Since it was formally established in October 2007, APAMO has accomplished the following:
- Successfully advocated for legislation and policies that provide for the long term integrity and proper management of protected areas;
- Championed the adoption and implementation of the national policy and system plan for Belize’s protected areas system;
- Established itself as the largest network of protected areas management organizations in Belize with 13 member organizations responsible for and involved in the management of 18 terrestrial protected areas and 9 marine protected areas;
- Continuously provided training to build the institutional capacity of its member agencies;
- Continues to develop itself as a highly acknowledged and respected conservation association with a unified voice of its membership, influencing and encouraging national policies for the proper management of Belize’s protected areas.