Heart of Belize Expeditions 2014

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Chiquibul Rainforest

Heart of Belize Expeditions 2014

This joint venture will be running several Scientific Support Expeditions in 2014 and we are now Recruiting for participants to join us and help conserve and manage the rainforests of Belize for a better future for all.

Summary:  Las Cuevas Research Station (www.lascuevas.org<https://remote.rbge.org.uk/go/http://www.lascuevas.org/>) is situated in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve & National Park, in the Heart of Belize, Central America – It lies within an area of protected forest in the Maya Mountains totalling about half a million hectares. Our mission for the last 20 years has been to investigate the effects of natural and human impacts on the biological diversity of the Maya Forest and to contribute practical knowledge for its sustainable management and conservation. The central thrust of the research, is to study and model biodiversity, the physical and human environment, and the ecological interactions at a range of spatial and temporal scales between them. The CFRNP is part of a tri-national bioregion known as the Maya Forest or La Selva Maya. It constitutes the largest remaining contiguous block of tropical forest north of the Amazon and is an area of outstanding biological diversity, providing critical habitat for many endangered species including Jaguar, Scarlet Macaws, Bairds Tapir and Black Howler Monkeys – it is a centre of regional plant diversity and is a stunning place to chill out and get away from concrete! – It also forms a key part of the internationally supported ‘Mesoamerican Biological Corridor’ which aims to maintain global and regional environmental integrity, whilst promoting local social, economic and spiritual well-being.

However, like so many places around the world it is coming under increasing threat from illegal logging, looting and poaching. The forest shares a 45 km border with Guatemala and many poor landless people are now entering the national park illegally to exploit the resources of the forest. To save the forest from further destruction and to help restore it to its former glory, the Heart of Belize Project is working with governments and NGO on both side of the border –

* we are helping to develop programmes that employ Guatemalans in Guatemala and eliminate the need to poach wildlife
* we are helping Belizeans to develop the economic rational and incentive to conserve the forest with eco-tourism and adventure programmes
* we are working with local, national and international research and education institutions to document the diversity and dynamics of the forest
* we are training the Forest Rangers to use technology and bush craft skills together in order to protect the park
* And we are providing opportunities for volunteers from all over the world to help us in all or any of the above.
If you would like to join us on an Expedition in 2014 – Please send a one page CV (Resume), that includes your email and contact phone number to

expedexpeditions@gmail.com<mailto:expedexpeditions@gmail.com>

If selected we will be in touch with you soon about the next step !!

Many thanks

Rafael Manzanero – Friends of Conservation and Development (Belize)

Richard Pyshorn – Survival Wisdom (England)

Chris Minty – Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (Scotland)

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