History of Ya'axchéIn 1997, a consortium of individuals formed the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP) non-governmental organization. These individuals made up the first Board of Directors of the GSCP NGO which would later be renamed the Ya’axché Conservation Trust.
In November 1998, the organization received its first one-year grant of $60,000 US from the IUCN for institutional strengthening, hiring of staff, demarcating of boundary lines and procurement of basic equipment. In the same year, GSCP NGO signed a 12-year institutional Memorandum of Understanding with Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the world’s oldest conservation organization based out of Cambridge, UK. The name GSCP NGO was changed in 2002 to Ya’axché Conservation Trust, in an effort to achieve greater resonance with the local Mayan community, and so as not to bind the growing organization to working solely within the GSCP private protected area.
In December of 2008, the fast growing organization took over management of Bladen Nature Reserve, when the Belize Forest Department granted Ya'axché co-management rights of the 100,000 acre nature reserve. Ya'axché is now responsible for the day to day management of the "crown jewel" of Belize.
The toad Bufo valliceps, Bladen Nature Reserve. | Photo: Erik Hammar.