Contributing to Community Seascape Conservation by Engaging Stakeholders of Ambergris Caye, Belize City and Caye Caulker in Training to Promote Awareness of, Monitor and Protect Manatees
Contributing to Community Seascape Conservation by Engaging Stakeholders of Ambergris Caye, Belize City and Caye Caulker in Training to Promote Awareness of, Monitor and Protect Manatees
This project aims to reduce threats to manatees, an IUCN red-listed vulnerable species in the busiest intersection of manatee and human traffic encounters in the country of Belize. The Drowned Cayes area of Belize – of which the Sanctuary lies at its heart - is strategic for both cit izens and manatees. From the site there is easy access to the fresh water of the navigable Belize River mouth and the sea meeting and supporting a growing urban City above and a significant concentration of use by manatees below. With harbor activit y rapidly increasing, it is too often with deadly consequences to the manatee that boats connect violently with manatees at the surface of the water precisely at the moments when manatees must surface to breathe result ing in injury or death. Combined with the cayes being top favorites for developers and the million or so visitors to Belize, continued action by SCWS in this highly trafficked area would be critical. Friends of Swallow
Caye proposes, therefore, to once again unite its efforts with Government of Belize, stakeholders and UNDP GEF SGP to implement some tangible solutions.
? Objectives
1. From the outset of this project, marine protected areas management effect iveness at Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary will be improving incrementally according to national requirements specifically for monitoring, public awareness, and sustainability.
2. By the end of this project the community stakeholders from Ambergris Caye, Belize City and Caye Caulker who participated in the manatee awareness, monitoring and protection training to reduce threats to manatees will observe regulations within Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary. 3. Collaboration with regulatory agencies and community manatee protection groups will increase manatee protection on the seascape level from Reef to River (11 miles Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, across the Belize Harbor and up Haulover Creek and Belize Old River) through improved monitoring and enforcement applying the SMART System and utilizing instant social media.
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Project Snapshot

Friends of Swallow Caye
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 25,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 2,501.62
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 27,266.73
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
As part of the project FOSC will be collaborating with G. Smith and Nauil Gomez at CZM in organizing the first Specialized Manatee Tour Guide Training Course. This tour guide training will be conducted in partnership with the Belize Tourism Board to validate the training. This training will provide another facet to tour guiding skills and tour packages to improve livelihoods.
Replication of project activities
Manatees remain an important species to sustainable development in Belize; however, with the continued investment in tourism as an economic driver, the threat to this species from maritime activities can easily escalate, thus the need remains for ongoing awareness. FOSC has demonstrated various innovative approach to sensitizing resource users and to securing their cooperation. At the same time, the evaluation found that additional work remains – working with the Port Authority to strengthen the categories of captain license, strengthening the various Tour Guide Associations so that they can in turn provide ongoing professional development to their membership and improving the financial sustainability of FOSC as an important organization in natural resources management.
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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