Strengthening the Indigenous Peoples of Belize National Participation in Landscape Stewardship
Strengthening the Indigenous Peoples of Belize National Participation in Landscape Stewardship
Customary indigenous modes of living operate upon an ethos of community-driven conservation and stewardship toward the natural world. In Belize the indigenous peoples that BENIC represents live and are custodians of the remaining forests and biodiversity rich areas. The landscape and seascape strategy of the GEFSGP to biodiversity protection and landscape stewardship speaks directly to these forests and critical landscapes where the Indigenous Peoples of Belize are found. In this context the overall goal of this project is to support the local efforts of the indigenous peoples in being stewards for forests, lands and waterways from the mountains of the interior to the wetlands and coastal plains of Belize.
Specifically, this project aims to advance the institutional strengthening of BENIC and capacity building for the three distinct realities of the Indigenous Peoples of Belize – Maya Q’eqchi/Mopan, Maya Yucatec and Garifuna – to enable a more active participation in national dialogues and educational awareness on the efforts to biodiversity protection, climate change mitigation strategies and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, this project will provide support that will allow the BENIC national members to improve their information and decision making process; support their participation in national dialogues that includes indigenous issues; carry-out educational workshops and environmental stewardship sensitization in their respective constituencies based on their constituency’s identified priority.
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Project Snapshot

National Garifuna Council
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 49,912.50
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 18,900.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 30,000.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
BENIC has the support and representation of the National Garifuna Council, the Maya Yucatec from the North and West; the Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan from the South and the Maya and Garifuna youth groups from the University of Belize. The three linguistic groups are represented on BENIC from a cross section of community members that includes women, Elders, spiritual leaders, traditional leaders and youth. BENIC’s unique composition provides for a valuable platform to bring the indigenous peoples capacity into the national fora and it will be strengthen of the implementation of this project.
Promoting Public Awareness of Global Environment
BENIC is committed to using its national platform to engage with and provide support to each and every affected Indigenous community. Each of BENIC’s seminars, meeting sessions, and productions are aimed not only to disseminate key information regarding international norms, conservation from Indigenous perspectives, but to enable Indigenous communities themselves to participate and engage in dialogue to ensure that their ideas shape, and re-shape national efforts including BENIC’s vision, and not the other way around.
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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