Belize, in its unwavering commitment to forest conservation, actively sought assistance from the Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) in July. The primary objective was to bolster ongoing initiatives aimed at updating forest mapping and activity data for its second Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL). This collaborative effort underscores Belize’s dedication to preserving its invaluable rainforest ecosystem, which covers almost half of the country’s mainland. The engagement with CfRN is pivotal, focusing on capacity building and efficient data collection processes. By aligning with CfRN’s expertise, Belize aims to reinforce its position in fulfilling climate change commitments, specifically within the UNFCCC REDD+ framework, showcasing a proactive approach to environmental stewardship.

Belize’s Rich Rainforest Ecosystem

Belize’s expansive rainforest, enveloping almost half of the mainland, is an ecological treasure often dubbed the “lungs” of the planet. A substantial 37% of this verdant expanse benefits from government protection, comprising national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Within this lush haven thrives an extraordinary diversity of plant and animal life. Black howler monkeys swing through the dense canopy, jaguars stealthily navigate the underbrush, and over 500 species of birds grace the skies. Belize’s commitment to safeguarding this rich biodiversity is evident in its strategic protection measures. The rainforest not only serves as a sanctuary for these diverse species but also contributes significantly to global ecological balance, solidifying its status as a vital component in the preservation of Earth’s natural heritage.

The Maya Forest Corridor

Belize’s distinctiveness is accentuated by its role as one of the rare Central American countries that host the Maya Forest Corridor. This geographic gem assumes a crucial role in enabling the mobility of species with expansive ranges, including Jaguars, Baird’s Tapirs, and White-lipped Peccaries. Functioning as the solitary connection between Belize’s Jaguar Conservation Units, the corridor emerges as an indispensable lifeline. Its significance lies in fostering the natural behaviors and habitat exploration essential for the well-being of these iconic species. By preserving the integrity of the Maya Forest Corridor, Belize underscores its commitment to biodiversity conservation, recognizing the interconnectedness of ecosystems and the pivotal role such corridors play in sustaining the delicate balance of diverse and thriving wildlife populations.

CfRN’s Mission in Belize          

The Coalition for Rainforest Nations (CfRN) undertook a pivotal mission to Belize, deploying its technical team to collaborate on the crucial task of updating forest mapping and activity data. Stationed in Belize City, the team commenced the meticulous collection of activity data while concurrently conducting training sessions for emerging technicians. This strategic initiative not only emphasizes CfRN’s commitment to fostering global environmental sustainability but also showcases its hands-on approach to capacity building. The focus of this collaboration is aligned with the Land Use and Land Use Change assessment, a comprehensive framework developed with significant financial support from Norway. By enhancing Belize’s capabilities in land-use assessment, CfRN is actively contributing to the nation’s commitment to precise and up-to-date data management in the context of environmental conservation and climate change mitigation.

Belize’s Role in Global Climate Change Mitigation Efforts

Belize emerges as a steadfast participant in global climate change mitigation efforts, as underscored by its unwavering commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. This section delves into Belize’s substantial progress in aligning with the outlined requirements of the UNFCCC decisions. Notably, Belize showcased its dedication by presenting a comprehensive Forest Reference Emissions Level (FREL) in 2020, providing a robust foundation for monitoring and managing emissions. The subsequent submission of a Technical Annex in 2021 for REDD+ Results Evaluation further solidifies Belize’s proactive stance. By adhering to these international frameworks and presenting tangible results, Belize sets a commendable example, demonstrating its resolve to contribute meaningfully to the global collective efforts aimed at mitigating climate change impacts.

The Crucial Role of Land-Use Data in Greenhouse Gas Inventories

Rainforest countries, including Belize, play a vital role in the global effort to combat climate change. This section emphasizes the significance of regularly collecting data on land-use and land-use change, providing insights into the complexities of maintaining accurate national greenhouse gas inventories. Belize’s proactive approach aligns with its commitment to the Paris Agreement and ensures compliance with UNFCCC decisions and REDD+ submissions.

Looking Ahead to Sustainable Practices and International Cooperation

In envisioning the road ahead for sustainable practices in Belize, a crucial aspect lies in the nation’s steadfast commitment to fulfilling climate change obligations. This journey encompasses the preservation of Belize’s distinctive rainforest ecosystem, with a spotlight on the vital Maya Forest Corridor. Collaborative endeavors with CfRN play a pivotal role, not only in enhancing data collection methods but also in fortifying capacity building initiatives. Belize stands at the forefront of global climate change initiatives, and the conclusion emphasizes the necessity of continuous collaboration with international partners like CfRN. This ongoing partnership facilitates the effective addressing of challenges, fostering collective contributions toward global climate change mitigation.