Two Community Projects Launched

22 Mar 2012

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(JOINT MEDIA RELEASE)  Two initiatives promoting environmental and natural resource management, and economic and social well-being, and in keeping with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Belize, were launched this week by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by UNDP as part of the Environment and Sustainable development programme.

The projects with the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women’s Conservation Group (CBS WCG) and the Toledo Maya Women’s Council, contribute to Belize’s achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1, 3 and 7:

  • Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
  • Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
  • Ensure Environmental Sustainability

The Project “Promoting Environmental Conservation Through Community Mobilization In The Community Baboon Sanctuary” aims to enhance the sustainable development of the Community Baboon Sanctuary and the surrounding communities by offering training, skills development, support for Small Business Enterprises, and organic vegetable farming, focusing on over 50 women and youth from within the Belize River Valley communities. This project was launched on March 18, 2012 in Bermudian Landing with an overview of GEF SGP by National Coordinator Philip Balderamos, remarks of encouragement to the community for a successful initiative by UNDP Resident Representative Roberto Valent. Representatives of the CBS WCG offered remarks thanking for the continuity of support to the community, as this is the third GEF SGP project to be implemented. The overall project cost is BZ$203,500 of which GEF SGP is funding BZ$100,000.

The Toledo Maya Women’s Council (TMWC) will mentor the Rio Blanco Women’s Group, offering accounting services and support for project management. In implementing this project “Empowering Indigenous Women to Take Part in Local, Sustainable Biodiversity Management”, the TMWC will also work with other organizations such as the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the Toledo Teachers Credit Union, and the Tumul Kin Center of Learning. These organizations are key partners for the Rio Blanco Women’s Group considering their interest and focus on environmental sustainability, business and marketing development, and food processing, to provide alternative options for livelihood development through local and national tourism opportunities. The project with an overall cost of BZ$160,149.90 of which GEF SGP is funding BZ$77,121.90 will be completed with in-kind contribution of the communities. It was launched on March 20, 2012 at the Craft Center of the Rio Blanco National Park in Toledo.