Toledo Birding for Biodiversity Project
Toledo Birding for Biodiversity Project
Toledo District is a special place, ecologically and culturally distinct within Belize and Central America. It is the primary area of settlement of the Mayan people in Belize, many of whom still observe age-old traditions in their interaction with their environment. Unfortunately, competing land uses and mounting population pressures are making those traditions increasingly hard to sustain in the long term, especially when threats to wildlife and habitat are taken into account. In the case of birds, those threats derive from myriad causes over vast territories, and not just from the behaviour of a small proportion of the tiny population of Belize. However, Toledo as a relatively undeveloped area represents a potential “safe haven” for a multitude of bird species, and the other wildlife that thrives in its diverse habitats. Therefore, taking concerted action to understand and preserve this valuable haven is especially important, before other development interests take precedence and the opportunity is lost.

The overall project goal is to promote the sustainability of the rich biodiversity of Toledo, by educating the people of Toledo, Belize and beyond about the nature, extent and value of that biodiversity, and mobilizing on a local level to protect it. The project will address the lack of information that is evident at two distinct levels – the lack of complete and accurate data on the biodiversity of Toledo District, and the lack of environmental understanding and action among the growing population of this poverty-ridden district.

The first objective of the project is to increase the awareness of the indigenous people of ten TEA villages (Laguna, Barranco, Medina Bank, San Miguel, San Pedro Columbia, Blue Creek, San Jose, San Antonio, Santa Elena and Pueblo Viejo) in Toledo about the value of the biodiversity of the environment they inhabit, with a special focus on birdlife, and more importantly, to enlist them as stewards and protectors of this biodiversity, mobilizing them to identify resources and take positive action on a community level.

The second objective is to augment and update the limited data about the bird population of Toledo District, and thereby contribute to appropriately targeted conservation measures in future, by monitoring the occurrence of bird species in diverse habitats, and making that data available to a wide set of users.

The third objective is to enable local villagers to expand their opportunities to earn a sustainable livelihood via ecotourism, through activities focused on marketing and capacity-building.
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Project Snapshot

Toledo Eco-tourism Association
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 38,514.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 9,208.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 9,806.57
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
Awareness outreach to the indigenous people of TEA villages of Laguna, Barranco, Medina Bank, San Miguel, San Pedro Columbia, Blue Creek, San José, San Antonio, Santa Elena and Pueblo Viejo, about the value of biodiversity of the environment they inhabit with special emphasis on birdlife was conducted.
Significant Participation of Indigenous Peoples
The project involved the participation of the Maya of Southern Belize
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Grantee Contact

Mr. Reyes Chun


Corner of Vernon and Front Streets
Punta Gorda Town , Latin America & Caribbean , P.OBox #75

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