Posts Tagged yaaxche

Ya’axche news has moved

Ya'axche news

The new news section of Ya'axche's website

We have now integrated the news into our main website. For the latest news on Ya’axche Conservation Trust, please visit http://www.yaaxche.org/news.html.

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FFI’s: Focus On The Ceiba Tree

Article extracted from FFI

The ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra) is one of the largest trees in Belize’s Golden Stream Watershed ecosystem. Though not listed on the IUCN Red List, it is a vital component of the ecosystem and has an iconic status in the region’s communities.

Fauna & Flora International (FFI) is working with the grassroots organisation Ya’axché Conservation Trust to protect the ceiba’s forest habitat by working with local people. The habitat is home to jaguar, tapir and many other threatened species.

Learn more about our work to save the ceiba tree’s habitat.

Ceiba tree quick facts

  • Grows to 60-70 m (200-230 ft)
  • Has a straight, largely branchless trunk that culminates in a huge, spreading canopy, and buttress roots that can be taller than a grown person
  • Its deep roots mean it’s often one of the few trees left standing after a hurricane.
  • Plays an important ecological role, supplying shade, nectar, fruit and many other necessities for wildlife
  • In traditional Mayan culture, the ceiba tree represents the link between the underworld and the heavens because it’s so tall
  • The ceiba tree’s branches were believed by Mayans to act as a seat from which the gods watched the people walking below

 IYB Issue: Cultural connections

  • The ceiba tree’s strong cultural ties to Mayan culture has proven invaluable for FFI’s partner Ya’axché Conservation Trust. The communities in and around the Golden Stream Watershed are mostly Mayan. In choosing the ceiba tree for its name and logo (Ya’axché means ceiba tree in the Mopan Mayan language), Ya’axché is highlighting its focus on locally-driven solutions to conservation problems.  
  • Identifying the local cultural value of species can help garner community support for wider habitat protection. Humans are not separate from nature. The more we identify ways to strengthen the link between conservation and society, the more we have a chance of saving the planet’s biodiversity.

“The Ceiba tree stands tall and strong just like Ya’axché which together with FFI is proactively protecting more than 300,000 acres of the Maya Golden Landscape habitat that links the Maya Mountains to the Belize Barrier Reef.”
Lisel Alamilla, Ya’axché Conservation Trust

How You Can Help

Eat more chocolate! Well.. eat more Green and Black’s Maya Gold chocolate to be exact. A significant percentage of chocolate beans that go into it come from farmers that FFI and Ya’axché have supported around the Golden Stream Watershed area. 

Growing cacao under the rainforest canopy is much better for the forest and earns them more income than their previous slash-and-burn subsistence farming.

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Punta Gorda Community Clean-up

Seaside Cleaning

 Lately, there has been an increase in litter along the coast of Punta Gorda Town. Ya’axché, in collaboration with the Punta Gorda Town Council and other citizens of Toledo, has been cleaning up the garbage, debris and other pollution along PG’s coast. But only a few cannot handle the great excess garbage floating around.

The litter, debris, tree trunks and stumps are not here because of Belize’s poor waste 

Loading tree trunks onto trailer

management. Most of the garbage (consisting of products made and mostly used in Guatemala) are from our neighbouring countries who use these products. This is in addition to our home-grown garbage. 

Ya’axché, today, brought a trailer to remove the huge tree trunks and stumps from the seaside to an empty lot around the Burial Ground Area. This can be used as firewood when dry. Ya’axche also provided a chainsaw for cutting the trees into smaller pieces for easy clearing. 

The Town Council would like the entire Punta Gorda community to participate in this clean up. 

Some locals helping

 Punta Gorda needs our help to make it look beautiful. Not only is it unsightly, but it is not good for the health of young children who enjoy these waters and also tourists, not to mention providing a bad environment for the fish to live and regenerate in. We are not asking for money, but merely asking for your time to clean up our community. 

On Friday June 18th 2010, Ya’axché is asking the community to assist in this clean-up. Ya’axché will provide a trailer to transport and a chainsaw to cut the large tree trunks and stumps. Ya’axché’s staff will participate in this clean-up as well. 

Please come out to support this cause. Let’s make Punta Gorda Town a beautiful place where people want to visit. The community effort of people working together will make it even more beautiful . 

A beautiful sea we can enjoy

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OAS sponsors tourism, urban employment and conservation projects

The following article is an extract from:
News Media: News5
Author: Isani Cayetano
Date: May 19, 2010

signing

Projects being undertaken by three local organizations to enhance the productivity of the tourism sector; provide employment for at risk youths; and promote conservation through sustainable farming practices have received the green light for funding by the Organization of American States.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Three agreements were signed this afternoon by representatives from BTB, N.C.F.C. and Ya’axche Conservation Trust.  According to Laura Esquivel-Frampton the monies that have been earmarked for tourism training and certification will be used to complete the project which is in its third year.

Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of Product Development, BTB

laura esquivel frampton“Primarily for the last couple years we’ve really been focusing on the certification of our local chefs program and that is heavily subsidized, mainly funded by this same OAS project.  Right now we have twelve participants in the program and they will finish a level two certification by the end of this year.  So by the end of this year we shall see for the first time local chefs being trained locally in Belize and certified so they will have that paper to back up all their qualifications that we know they already have.”

The total pledge of capital which is provided through OAS’ Special Multi-Lateral Fund (FEMCIDI) is five hundred, forty-nine thousand, two hundred and thirty-four dollars.  The money is being divided between the three entities and the National Committee for Families and Children will use its share to assist disadvantaged communities.

Pearl Stuart, Executive Director, NCFC

pearl stuart“We’re looking at disadvantaged women and at risk youth.  Well I’m particularly interested of course in the at risk youth and of course women being mothers to children that’s also of great interest to us.  But the disadvantaged women we’re looking at Samuel Haynes, we’re looking at the Women’s Department in doing high-end garments and that’s where we’ll tie to or link with tourism.”

Equally funded is an initiative by Ya’axche Conservation Trust to assist in poverty alleviation among indigenous communities in the Toledo District.

Lisel Alamilla, Executive Director, Ya’axchѐ

lisel alamilla

“One of our goals is having sustainable communities. So we have done organic farming, promoted organic farming in Medina Bank.  We’re now starting in Golden Stream and we’re really going to be moving more toward integrated farming.  We’ve also done projects along with the OAS in agro-forestry and one main component of this two is the capacity building which is something that is important because sometimes it’s best when you take someone out to show them what other people are doing to motivate them, to show them that there are possibilities out there.”

The projects are being funded over a fourteen month cycle between 2010-2011.  In the case of long term projects the agencies are expected to submit proposals annually to receive the necessary subsidies.  Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano

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Ya’axché Celebrating Earth Day

Indian Creek Primary School Students

Today is Earth Day and to celebrate this movement, Ya’axché along with partners planted trees and held a clean-up campaigns. Ya’axché focused its campaign on the primary schools from seven buffering communities.

Ya’axché donated trees to Southern Environmental Organization (SEA) and Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) for their Earth Day activities. An addition of 34 schools were involved in the tree planting and cleanup activities, in southern Belize, lead by Educators who are part of the Education Alliance: SEA, TIDE and Plenty Belize. SEA planted trees for their earth day with other activities. TIDE painted a mural at the St. Peter Claver primary school and also planted trees around the school ground to show and remind the importance of conservation.

Medina Bank Primary School Students Planting Trees

The seven buffer communities (Medina Bank, Golden Stream, Indian Creek, Big Falls, San Miguel and San Pedro Columbia) participated in the Earth Day activities that Ya’axché organized. Ya’axché and volunteers assisted in the success of Earth Day activities today. Firstly, Ya’axché Outreach Officer and Sustainable Land-use Management Program (SLMP) volunteers held an open discussion with the students about the importance of Earth Day and primarily conservation on a daily basis. After the discussion the children were invovled in a cleanup activity around their school. Lastly, the students planted trees around the school compound ending with a small presentation on Earth Day as an everyday practice that the young generation should be involved in .

Education & Outreach Officer talking to students

Ya’axché is happy to say that Earth Day in the seven primary schools was a success. Happy Earth Day, long live planet Earth!!!

Golden Stream Primary School

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Bladen Nature Reserve Field Trip for Students

BNR Management Zones

The Bladen Nature Reserve is one of the most pristine areas and has the highest level of protection in Belize. Ya’axché organized field trips for primary school students from buffering communities and also for high school students, but it was not a regular field trip, it was to educate young students about the Bladen Nature Reserve.

By law, the Bladen Nature Reserve allows only two things to happen inside its boundaries which are research and education. The reserve is divided into two zones, a natural environment zone and a preservation zone. In the natural environment zone only research and education may occur but in the preservation zone no one is regularly permitted to engage in any activity. The Bladen Nature Reserve is a no take protected area.

The Bladen River is the river that runs north-easterly through the nature reserve with is also classified as the mother of the Monkey River Watershed which feeds into nearby rivers and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.  

On March 30th 2010 rangers along with teachers from Medina Bank, Indian Creek, and Golden Stream primary schools and Ya’axché volunteers took 49 students and on March 31st 52 students into the nature reserve. Not only were students given the opportunity to explore, but the trip also provided an opportunity for the rangers to practice their strategies of communication, as rangers are look at by Ya’axché as local teachers and ambassadors of Ya’axché who engage in hands-on environmental education. The ranger had open discussions with the children to better understand the roles that rangers play to manage such a huge area with rich biodiversity.

Through this practical adventure, the elementary students were able to observe the pristine and invaluable resources of the nature reserve. This activity directly involved the future decision makers of the three buffer communities, hopefully influencing their relationship with managing the communities natural resources sustainably.

Ya'axche ranger Explaining the importance of pristine rivers

Various situations encountered within the nature reserve were used as “teachable moments” to relate to problems posed to it. The rustic road entrance was used to illustrate the likely hood of impacts and threats posed not only by the surrounding communities but by anyone since it is accessible.  The Pine Savannah and the boundary line was used to discuss prescribed burning to prevent the spread of wild fires from Pine Savannahs. Rangers also talked about nutrient cycles, forest structure, pollution and littering, erosion control, seed dispersion, healthy water systems and the importance of wildlife.

Students were brought to the Blue Pool to show the importance and beauty of pristine waters which affect reefs because of their interconnectivity.

Through these field trips Ya’axché focused on educating the teachers and the future decision makers – students, about the value of effectively managed community natural resources. By spending time within the most pristinely conserved area of the Toledo District, the students and educators were able to observe the interconnectedness between their use of resources outside the nature reserve and what happens within Bladen Nature Reserve.

On April 1st 2010 26 high school students attended the field trip, with a Ya’axché  ranger and Education Outreach Officer. Ya’axché hopes to enable the students to become stewards of conservation in their communities, and give them training and skills they need to continue on in the path of environmental education.

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Freshwater Bio-monitoring in Southern Belize

Freshwater Bio-monitoring

Freshwater bio-monitoring is integral to watershed management throughout the developed world. Nonetheless, many tropical developing countries, including Belize, lack formal procedures and methods for monitoring and managing water quality. Therefore, we are pleased to announce that, with funding from Rufford Small Grants Foundation, Ya’axché will be facilitating research to develop cost-effective bio-monitoring systems for tropical rivers.

This research will investigate natural biological variability and variation in response to anthropogenic impact to contribute to the development of monitoring tools that are able to indicate river health. It will provide a crucialcomponent to the development of standardized and cost effective methods, allowing those interested in the management of freshwater ecosystems to monitor impacts and evaluate the effectiveness of management activities.

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