Proposed Legislation Strengthens Role of Private Protected Areas

The Ya’axché Conservation Trust, with support from the Belize Association of Private Protected Areas (BAPPA) and with the participation of the Association of Private Area Management Organizations (APAMO) and the National Protected Areas Commission (NPAC), finalized two pieces of proposed legislation:

  • National Park Systems (Amendment) Act
  • Conservation Covenant Act

The first bill intends to amend Chapter 215 of the National Park Systems Act (PDF) aims to give legal recognitions to private protected areas (PPAs). The recognition of PPAs in instrumental in filling the gaps within the Belizean national park system. Under this amendment PPAs can be designated either a wildlife sanctuary or a national park with the same rules and restrictions that are place on the public protected areas of the same category (PDF of Protected Area Categories). The designation will be made upon the recommendation of the national authority of protected areas management, and will have to meet strict criteria.

The second piece of proposed legislation, the Conservation Covenant Act, will facilitate private initiatives for land owners to restrict the use of their lands to conservation purposes only, and will provide specific incentives to those individuals with lands along rivers and watersheds.

The campaign for political and legislative support to enact these new laws will be lead by BAPPA.

Ya’axché’s Executive Director, Ms. Lisel Alamilla played a leadership role in coordinating these legislative proposals.

Funding for the development of this proposed legislation was made available via the UNDP/GEF project, Integrating Protected Area and Landscape Management in the Golden Stream Watershed, and is being implemented by Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust and our long-standing partner Fauna & Flora International.

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