Monday, July 22, 2024

Stakeholder Engagement Sessions Fuel Enthusiasm for Ocean Conservation Funding

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Submitted by Chalsey Gill Anthony
Communications Officer|
Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future
photos courtesy Belize Fund

Press Release – In a strategic stride towards bolstering Belize’s marine and coastal environment, the Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future (Belize Fund) recently hosted stakeholder engagement sessions nationwide. These sessions brought together representatives from diverse sectors, comprising fishing associations and cooperatives to tourism entities, NGOs, and local community advocates, who share a collective commitment towards ocean conservation and strengthening Belize’s blue economy.

Our goal was to spotlight our 2nd Call for Proposals (CfP) launch under the Grants Award Program (GAP) 2023 grant cycle, which opened on August 4, 2023. Attendees learned of the eligibility criteria, award categories, and the application process. We emphasized the need for project proposals aligned with the targeted Thematic Areas of sustainable fisheries, climate resilience, and blue business innovation, which contributes to the overarching conservation commitments under Belize’s Blue Bond Loan agreement.

Resonating through these discussions was an unwavering resolve toward a more sustainable future. The Belize Fund’s Executive Director, Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts, aptly sums it up: “We can all be stewards of Belize’s invaluable coastal and marine resources. Through the Belize Fund, we’re enhancing access to financing, strengthening Belize’s blue economy, and fostering the resilience of our coastal communities.” As we navigated each location, we engaged with a total of 87 participants, representing 16 communities and 56 organizations.

Beyond the engagement sessions lies an ambitious roadmap. We journey through our second operational year, committed to driving targeted outreach and capacity-building initiatives for greater national impact and working towards a flourishing ocean environment. In September, we are facilitating a tailored technical assistance workshop in project proposal development, and in the pipeline is a transformative community mentoring program poised to empower stakeholders and foster lasting impact and innovation in blue businesses.

The Belize Fund is a trailblazer in sustainable coastal and marine conservation financing. We stand determined to support and fund initiatives that will ensure a path forward, positioning Belize as a global leader in the realm of ocean sustainability.

In our breakthrough year, our 1st CfP of the GAP 2022 grant cycle awarded grants amounting to BZD $3.08 million to six (6) non-government organizations:

In the wake of these engagement sessions and the opening of our 2nd CfP, the Belize Fund extends an earnest invitation to all eligible entities to submit a Concept Paper for funding consideration by August 25th. We want to support projects that promote collaborative actions working toward Belize’s vibrant and resilient blue space.

Interested entities can find comprehensive information on the application process, guidelines, and eligibility criteria at www.bfsf.bz. For further inquiries and additional information, please contact the Belize Fund team at [email protected] or [email protected].

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