Agroforestry To Reduce Poverty, Increase Community Resilience, Protect Ecosystem Services and Conserve Biodiversity in Toledo
Agroforestry To Reduce Poverty, Increase Community Resilience, Protect Ecosystem Services and Conserve Biodiversity in Toledo
The problem this project aims to mitigate is that of unsustainable farming practices within the Maya Golden Landscape (MGL), specifically the expansion and intensification of slash-and-burn agriculture. Over-use of slash-and-burn is causing deforestation, fires and soil erosion, which in turn are causing soil fertility, water quality and agricultural productivity to decline. To counter declining soil fertility, farmers are resorting to greater use of chemical fertilizer, which threatens to severely damage the Belize Barrier Reef World Heritage Site, so crucial to the Belizean economy. On communal lands, forest resources that were once abundant are now becoming scarce. The project will promote a knowledge-intensive, lucrative yet sustainable agroforestry system based around cacao. This system involves cultivation of a diverse array of food and non-food crops. Compared with conventional slash-and-burn practises, this agroforestry system is more profitable, provides a more nutritious diet, is resilient to environmental and economic stresses and is environmentally sustainable. By maintaining the structure of the forest, the agroforestry system maintains vital ecosystem services such as soil conservation, flood control, carbon sequestration and maintenance of freshwater quality. It also provides resources such as firewood and traditional building materials that are becoming scarce on community lands.

The goal of the project is to reduce anthropogenic pressure from competing land-uses and unsustainable agriculture through catalysing sustainable agricultural change at the community level in and around the Maya Golden Landscape, contributing towards Immediate Objective 7 of the SGP OP5. It will be achieve through:

1) Improving capacity of 60 farmers to implement sustainable agroforestry techniques throughout communities of the Maya Golden Landscape.

2) Empowering 2 local farmers to serve as agroforestry advisors to other farmers in their communities.

The project is a part of Ya’axché’s on-going effort to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and to alleviate poverty in and around MGL.

In addition to SGP OP5 Immediate Objective 7, the project also strongly contributes towards the following country objectives:

Obj 1: Widespread adoption of agroforestry will reduce the pressure on forest reserves and other protected areas for new slash-and-burn agriculture.
Obj 6/7: Ecosystem service delivery will increase as agroforestry maintains many of the functions of a natural forest; these include erosion and flood control, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and natural pest management as Ya’axché promotes an agroforestry system without the use of agrochemicals. Agroforestry also provides higher incomes per area than traditional slash-and-burn and is more resilient to disturbances (e.g. pests, flooding).
CD Results: Lessons learned during the project and project results will be disseminated not only within communities, through community meetings but to relevant CBO’s and NGO’s in the region and other institutions such as the University of Belize.
Cross-cutting Results:The project will sustainably reduce poverty within the participating communities, as cacao-based agroforestry increases farmers’ incomes without compromising the resource base upon which agriculture relies.
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Ya'axche Conservation Trust
Country:
Belize
Area Of Work:
Land Degradation
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,129.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 41,525.00
Project Number:
BZE/SGP/OP5/Y2/CORE/LD/12/03
Status:
Satisfactorily Completed

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Project Characteristics and Results
Project sustainability
60 farmers participated in seven peer to peer training sessions. Training session included record-keeping, pruning, grafting, and farm sanitation, among many other management topics. These trainings were held in farmer field schools.
Capacity - Building Component
Improving capacity of 60 farmers to implement sustainable agroforestry techniques throughout communities of the Maya Golden Landscape
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Grantee Contact

Ms. Christina Garcia
Phone: 501-722-0108
Email: christina.garcia@yaaxche.org
 

Address

P.O. BOX 177, #20 A GEORGE PRICE STREET
Punta Gorda Town , Latin America & Caribbean , 00501

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
Phone:
(501) 822-2462
Email:

Address

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