VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
Though most can agree that the environment is highly valuable; environmental needs, concerns and issues in Belize often go unheard or unaddressed. Ya’axché aims to speak out against environmental injustices and advocate for improvement and/or revision of environmental laws, policies and regulations to ensure the protection and preservation of Belize’s precious natural resources.
Ya’axché realizes that the Maya Golden Landscape cannot function in isolation and therefore, it often extends its reach nationally. To communicate our stance on environmental issues, topics and policies, we utilise national and international media sources: newspapers, magazines and websites, including our own website, newsletter and social media. We also unite with national and international networks such as the Belize Association for Private Protected Areas to effectively tackle environmental causes.
Our Executive Director leads all advocacy efforts and ensures the views of the organization are communicated efficiently.
Our notable contributions over the years include:
- Successful lobbying against the construction of a hydroelectric dam in Bladen Nature Reserve from 2009 to 2012
- Successful lobbying for a moratorium on rosewood trade in Belize to cease harvesting and exportation in 2013
- Successful lobbying for the update of the National Protected Areas System (NPAS) bill and Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act and providing technical support to the amendments in 2015
Rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii) being harvested. | Map: Maximiliano Caal
The NPAS bill guides efforts to ensure the maintenance and coordinated management of the protected areas system that is representative of internationally agreed categories. Amendments to the PACT Act strengthens and enhances the operations of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust in achieving its mission of promoting the sustainable management of Belize’s protected areas.
Ya’axché will continue to develop the advocacy program and address environmental needs as they arise.
News Article: Bulldozers invade Bladen River Nature Reserve. Published 17 July 2009, Amandala Newspaper.
News Article: Belize’s biggest nature reserve threatened with illegal dam. Published 31 July 2009, Fauna & Flora International.
News Article: Battle in Bladen Going to Supreme Court. Published 27 January 2010, 7 News Belize.
Article: CITES takes decisive action to protect tropical tree species. Published 3 April 2013, Global Trees Campaign.
News Article: New Forestry Minister invokes immediate rosewood moratorium. Published 20 March 2012, Amandala Newspaper.
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