Preserve the Natural Paradise in Belize

Project location: Belize, Golden Stream
Project start date: September 2001 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 0000-09
Beneficiary: Fauna & Flora International

 [2001-1, 2003-37, 2004-32, 2006-27]

The Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP) is one of Belize's last remaining lowland tropical broadleaf forest ecosystems running from the mountains to the coast.  It supports endangered mammal species including tapir, jaguar and manatee, and is home to rare breeding birds such as the harpy eagle and orange-breasted falcon.  The Preserve has a planned surface area of 35,000 acres and Golden Stream is one of the last critical life-supporting waterways, originating in the Maya Mountains and discharging into Port Honduras Marine Reserve. Survival, behaviour and habitat spread of both terrestrial and marine species depends on this artery. 

The threats to the GSCP area are from two main sources: intensive agricultural activities and over-exploitation of the natural resources by the local communities living in the adjacent areas. Since 2001, the Nando Peretti Foundation has provided critical support towards the conservation of this area, through the provision of funding for a programme of activity, managed by Fauna & Flora International (FFI).  FFI, founded in 1903, is the world’s longest established wildlife conservation organisation and focuses on helping other people to conserve their own wildlife.  Rather than building its own infrastructure, it helps to establish the local infrastructure required to achieve sustainable conservation, by forming partnerships with governments, NGOs, institutions and local communities.

FFI was originally founded in 1903 as the Society for the Preservation of the Wild Fauna of the Empire by a group of British naturalists and American statesmen in Africa. It was then called the Fauna Preservation Society, before being renamed Fauna and Flora Preservation Society in 1981. The goal of the society was to safeguard the future of southern Africa’s large mammal populations, which had declined alarmingly due to over-hunting and habitat encroachment. Working in tandem with landowners, government and sport hunters, the Society helped pass legislation which controlled hunting in vast stretches of East Africa and South Africa. This ultimately paved the way for the formation of National Parks, such as Kruger National Park and Serengeti National Park. FFI has been referred to by many historians as the world's first conservation society, and the society's early work in Africa was also trend-setting in ecotourism. The organization also played a key role in establishing much of today’s global conservation infrastructure - including The World Conservation Union (IUCN), The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). FFI has members in over 80 countries. FFI has a seven-step approach to conserving biodiversity: Building local capacity for conservation Integrating biodiversity and human needs Direct protection of species and habitats Securing land for conservation Emergency response to conservation needs Influencing policy and the practice of conservation Bridging the gap between business and biodiversity The logo of the society is the Arabian Oryx, after the very successful Operation Oryx, a flagship Arabian oryx captive breeding project undertaken by the society. Queen Elizabeth II is FFI's Patron and Lindsay Bury is the President of the organization. FFI also has a number of high profile Vice Presidents including Sir David Attenborough, David Bellamy, Stephen Fry, Charlotte Uhlenbroek, Rove McManus, Lord Browne of Madingley and Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. FFI currently works on a project in Ecuador with the charity Cool earth, working with local groups to ensure the Awacachi corridor is protected. In line with their seven step approach to conservation, Fauna & Flora International have recently endorsed the Forests Now Declaration, which calls for new market based mechanisms to protect tropical forests.
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