APAMO was formally constituted in 2007 to facilitate unified representation for protected areas management agencies. Today, APAMO is considered Belize’s frontrunner network of non-governmental conservation organizations dedicated to conserving irreplaceable natural resources within the national protected areas. Our mission is to effectively support the National Protected Areas System to maintain its capacity to protect biodiversity and provide ecosystem goods and services that are critical for socio-economic resilience and national development.
APAMO in partnership with Caribbean Natural Resources Institute hosted its very first Community Climate Expo to promote the work of CSOs to mitigate the impact of climate change. The event took place at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio, Cayo on May 27th, 2023.The participation of various CSOs at the expo highlighted the collective efforts and diverse approaches employed to address climate change and its effects on Belize’s environment and communities. These organizations showcased their initiatives and projects, demonstrating the crucial role they play in promoting conservation, sustainable development, and resilience in the face of climate challenges.
Among the CSOs that actively participated in the expo were the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, Ya’axche Conservation Trust, Belize National Biodiversity Office, Mayflower Bocawina Environmental and Development, San Antonio Women’s Group, Green Iguana Conservation Project, Steadfast Tourism and Conservation Association, Xe’il Belize, Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, Maya Mountain Cacao, Ikooma, and Green Clean Products. Each organization presented their innovative solutions and practices, highlighting their contributions to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In addition to the CSOs, the expo also provided an opportunity for local food vendors and small businesses to showcase their sustainable products and services. This aspect of the event promoted the importance of supporting local enterprises that adopt eco-friendly practices and contribute to the overall sustainability of Belize.
To further enhance the ambiance and engagement of attendees, a live band was present, adding a festive touch to the expo. The music and entertainment created an enjoyable atmosphere, encouraging visitors to explore the various exhibits and engage in meaningful conversations about climate change and its implications for the community.
On Thursday, April 27, 2023, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) held its Second Annual Ranger Forum at Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary under the theme, “Park Rangers at the Forefront Protecting Belize’s Biodiversity, Natural Wonders, and Cultural Heritage.”
The forum was facilitated by APAMO’s Central Resource Center Team (ACRC) in collaboration with its member organizations. This annual event is intended to unite Protected Areas Rangers from across the country and provide a platform for them to openly dialogue on the work they undertake at protected areas daily. The Forum aims to provide Rangers of Protected Areas with a unique platform to discuss the pressing issues they face on a daily basis, as well as offering a range of insightful presentations and refresher courses that are crucial to their day-to-day operations.
On Tuesday, March 21st, 2023, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) attended a three-day National Capacity-Building workshop under the theme “Strengthening Civil Society’s Access to Climate Finance in Belize.” held at Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina.
The workshop was facilitated by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in partnership with the National Designated Authority (NDA) for GCF, the Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and Investment and the National Coordinator and Civil Society Liaison for the CANARI Readiness Project, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO).
The objectives of this workshop were to engage key civil society stakeholders:
1. To strengthen knowledge and skills on how to develop a project concept to access financing from the GCF and other climate funds;
2. To strengthen understanding of key cross cutting themes, including gender and Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS), and specific requirements of GCF to enable access to Climate Finance; and
3. To Foster dialogue and engagement between CSOs, the NDA and accredited entities in Belize to stimulate the integration of CSOs’ priorities into climate finance frameworks and project pipelines for GCF and other funds.
The workshop was led by Dr. Laura Canevari, CEO and Founder of ITACA Solutions, along with Ms. Nicole Leotaud, Executive Director of CANARI. The National Capacity Building workshop aimed to enhance the knowledge and capacity of CSOs’ to access Climate Finance and better enable Climate action. APAMO is pleased to have led this first capacity building activity and to keep CSOs engaged in climate finance. Future initiatives are being programmed to facilitate continued development of prospects for the Climate Action Team.
On February 10, 2023, the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) and its Climate Finance Unit (CFU), launched its Belize-Green Climate Fund (GCF) Country Programme. Following the launch, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), in partnership with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) held a National Civil Society Climate Action Forum.
The forum served as a beacon, calling forward Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to join a CSO Action Team. This team is being established as an informal network of CSOs, including non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations to support their effective engagement in climate change processes at the national and local levels. Furthermore, it will strengthen knowledge sharing and partnerships to enhance their access to climate finance and implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation in Belize.
Welcome to the March 2023 edition of the APAMO quarterly newsletter! The start of the new year saw a number of activities that are critical for conservation in Belize, from reforestation of mangroves across the country to building capacity and access to Climate Finance. We are excited to share with you the latest updates on what conservation communities are doing across the country to address the growing environmental issues currently facing Belize.
In this edition, you will find a diverse range of articles highlighting the efforts of APAMO members to promote the protection of the flora, fauna, culture and heritage of Belize.