Saturday, April 20, 2024

Environment

Hol Chan Marine Reserve’s plan to combat sargassum yet to be implemented

The beaches of San Pedro and many others across the country have been experiencing a heavy influx of brown algae known as sargassum in the past few weeks. This inconvenience makes the shoreline unattractive as the seaweed rots and threatens the island's tourism industry. To address this problem, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) plans to obtain a "Harvester Machine" to help overcome the sargassum problem.

Earth Journalism Network hosts environmental reporting workshops for Belizean and regional journalists

Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (EJN), an organization training journalist on how to cover environmental issues more effectively, hosted a training session for journalists from Tuesday, April 9th through the 14th, focusing on data and general fisheries reporting. The sessions served to better capacitate a group of selected journalists from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, along with experts and conservationists. The workshops were held at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve begins monitoring seasonal sea turtle nesting sites

The sea turtle monitoring program at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve has begun and will continue until November. They anticipate egg clutches will appear on the beach this time of the year, as last year, the first turtle nest of the season was discovered on April 18, 2023. Due to that factor, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve team is now actively monitoring the island's northern beaches weekly to search for turtle nests or any activity. They have also started removing debris and cleaning up by picking up garbage and driftwood that could obstruct the turtles' path in known nesting areas.

Sargassum influx on Ambergris Caye beaches increases

As the days get warmer and east winds pick up, the arrival of the sargassum seaweed is already making its presence along the coast of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. While island authorities are yet to announce a plan to address the expected excessive seaweed beaching, recent reports suggest that monitoring efforts observe large Sargassum patches in the Caribbean Sea drifting in a western motion.

TIDE receives BFSF grant for nearly $700,000

On Thursday March 21, 2024; the Belize Fund for Sustainable Future (BFSF) celebrated its 2nd Anniversary and Awards Ceremony to recognize the recipients of the Grants Awards Program (GAP) 2023-2024 grant cycle and the outstanding contributions of key partners in marine conservation.

Illegally constructed road and wooden bridges found inside Belize National Parks

The Frіеndѕ fоr Соnѕеrvаtіоn and Dеvеlopmеnt (FСD) are considered the guardians of the Chiquibul National Park in the Cayo District in western Belize. For years, they have monitored the continuous encroachment of Guatemalan nationals, bringing it to the government's attention. Recent reports reveal an illegally constructed road inside the national park and bridges in the nearby Columbia Forest Reserve. The Ministry of National Defense and Border Security received the findings and is investigating as these activities violate Belize's sovereignty.

National Workshop on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, & Cooperation

The Department of the Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management and the Belize Port Authority (BPA), with the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Regional Coordinating Unit for the Caribbean Environment Program, and the Regional Activity Center/Regional Marine Pollution Emergency, Information, and Training Center—Wider Caribbean Region, facilitated a four-day training/workshop on “Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response, and Cooperation” in Belize from March 12 to 15, at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel, Belize City.

The San Pedro Town Council prepares for upcoming sargassum season

The sargassum season is approaching, and the threat to Belize's beaches is looming with Easter nearing. However, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has said they are preparing for this seaweed invasion that can cause sargassum mats to litter our beaches. Reports suggest that monitoring efforts have noticed a sargassum patch in the Caribbean Sea drifting in an eastern motion. This mass will hit the beaches of several island nations, the Mexican coast of Quintana Roo, and eventually the Belizean coastline.

WCS invites media to interview experts attending the Global Shark Conservation Conference

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) sponsored a media trip to Middle Caye at Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve on February 28th, where experts were available for interviews while on a field trip to Glover’s Reef Research Station. The specialists were among fifty-plus marine conservationists who attended the Belize Shark Conference in Placencia from February 26th to March 1st. At the conference, regional, international, and local authorities discussed shark research, conservation, and counter-wildlife trafficking.

The 13th annual Reef Week is set to begin!

Belize's Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) plays a significant role in the country's economy and identity. Every year, conservation partners team up to highlight the reef's importance and celebrate its existence in Belize. The 13th Annual Reef Week 2024 will be celebrated from March 9th to 16th under the theme "Unite in the Coral Reef Fight: Learn, Teach, and Do What's Right!" The public is invited to participate in a week-long series of activities celebrating the Belize Barrier Reef while learning and having fun.

Belize Participates in 6th United Nations Environment Assembly

The 6th United Nations Environment Assembly was hosted at the United Nations Environment Program Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, from February 26 to March 1. Leading Belize’s participation is Dr. Kenrick Williams, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management.