Bladen Nature ReserveConsidered the crown jewel of Belize's protected areas, Bladen Nature Reserve (BNR) is 100,000 acres (400 sq. km), of pristine natural forest in southern Belize. It is considered to be one of the most biodiversity-rich, and topographically unique areas within the Mesoamerican "biodiversity hotspot". Bladen has the highest protection status (Category I) under the standards of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Blue pool, Bladen Nature Reserve. | Photo: Gail Stott.
Ya'axché strives to maintain a strong and open relationship with the communities surrounding BladenBladen's role in watershed protection within the area is also important as it protects the upper waters of the Monkey River watershed, preserving the quality of the water draining into the Belize Barrier Reef, 26 km to the east. This water system additionally provides water for local communities and large agricultural areas on the coastal plain.
Geoffroy's spider monkey, (Ateles geoffroyi) is found in Bladen Nature Reserve. The species is classified as Endangered by IUCN. | Photo: Erik Hammar.
In December 2008, the Belize Forest Department selected Ya'axché as the co-manager of Bladen due to our demonstrated commitment to the area, experience in protected area management and institutional capacity to achieve success. As a community-oriented organization, Ya'axché strives to maintain a strong and open relationship with the communities surrounding Bladen and will continue to do so with the implementation of numerous projects.