Forest Department Leads Effort to Update National Threatened Species List
Friday, February 10th, 2017
A workshop to update and modify Belize’s ‘Threatened Species List 2005’ took place after key stakeholders met at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on January 31st.
The Forest Department, through the involvement of more than 25 local, regional and international experts and wildlife conservation representatives, is presently updating Belize’s National Threatened Species List for terrestrial wildlife. As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Belize’s efforts to update the list is only one of the many activities underway to ensure that Belize meets its global commitments and contributes towards the global Sustainable Development Goals to secure the survival of threatened species, maintain biodiversity, and improve wildlife conservation efforts.
According to the Forest Department’s Wildlife Manager Edgar Correa, this update of threatened species is essential to identify emerging threats and potential impacts on priority species, as well as pinpoint effective forest protection measures necessary to safeguard wildlife. He further explained that at the end of the workshop, a National Threatened Species List 2017 will be developed. Correa says the list will not only act as a guide to conserve species under threat, but also provide guidance to the Forest Department for the revision of the Wildlife Protection Act. It will also assist other relevant agencies and organizations in the review of Environmental Impact Assessments, wildlife and biodiversity research, and other related work.
Since wildlife under threat is a prime indicator of the rapid changes to our environment, the updating of the National Threatened Species List is a fundamental part of the implementation of Belize’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan. This plan seeks to prevent wildlife species from becoming functionally extinct in Belize. Due to increasing pressures, such as illegal hunting, habitat loss and climate change, it is critical that Belize, as other countries, track some of its most vulnerable species and continue to monitor its biodiversity.
For more information regarding the updated list, please contact the Forest Department at 822-2079 or email at [email protected]
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