Alleviating Land-based Threats to the Belize Barrier Reef System
Alleviating Land-based Threats to the Belize Barrier Reef System
Land-based activities are increasingly acknowledged as responsible for stressing aquatic environments. Riparian forests and their associated floodplains provide an important buffer between land-based activities and freshwater and marine environments. Changing land use and the loss and fragmentation of riparian forests has considerable negative impact upon riparian, freshwater, near shore and reef biodiversity across the tropics, and particularly within Belize, where agricultural expansion is the primary cause of land-use change.

The proposed project will positively influence community perception and encourage civic responsibility for the sustainable management of land upon which the health of the rivers of the MMMC and the reefs of the PHMR and associated BBSSR-WHS depend. Furthermore, community-assisted water quality monitoring of best practice effectiveness, and the underpinning of this with an understanding of the importance of, and linkages between terrestrial, riverine and marine ecosystems, will enhance the current freshwater monitoring programme for the MMMC and provide a model for other coastal areas.

The project’s primary goal is to conserve and protect the biodiversity of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR) and associated Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System–World Heritage Site (BBRRS?WHS) by empowering local communities to reduce the threats presented by sedimentary and poor quality runoff originating from land?based agricultural sources.

To achieve this aim, the project will address the following objectives:

1: Enhance the freshwater monitoring programme for the MMMC
2: Build community ownership for the management of the riverine and marine environment
3: Develop community managed sustainable farming systems that reduce land-based run-off and provide a showcase of best agricultural practices

Ya’axché has worked hard to foster strong working community partnerships which are currently being formalised through the signing of ‘community partnership agreements’ (see supporting documentation). The proposed project activities directly reflect requests for action from 5 buffer communities (Indian Creek, Golden Stream, Medina Bank, Big Falls, and San Miguel), whose members will be involved from the outset in activity planning and implementation.

As diversified crops are produced, earning opportunities will be realized which will, alongside the reduced use and associated cost of agrochemicals, provide tangible economic and health benefits to supplement environmental incentive.
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Project Snapshot

Ya'axche Conservation Trust
Area Of Work:
Climate Change Mitigation
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 106,068.76
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 33,176.04
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
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Grantee Contact

Mr. Bartolo Teul
Phone: (501) 609-6960


Punta Gorda Town , Latin America & Caribbean , 00501

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
(501) 822-2462


UNDP Belize,3rd Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building Complex ,P.O. Box 53,South Ring Road,
Belmopan, Central America