Member States of Non-Aligned Movement are committed to the protection and conservation of environment. They have formulated many policies and mechanisms on the diverse aspects of environment protection. In Belize, mangroves are recognized for their important role as a nature-based solution to climate change, providing critically important ecosystem services that include shoreline protection from erosion and tropical storms and important nurseries for commercial fish species that support fisher livelihoods. As part of mangrove conservation, Belize has established the Belize Mangrove Alliance, a national chapter of the Global Mangrove Alliance, a collaboration that seeks to bring together NGOs, governments, scientists, industry, local communities, and funders towards a common goal of conserving and restoring mangrove ecosystems. The goal of the Global Mangrove Alliance is to increase the global area of mangrove habitat through conservation, restoration and equitable management. collaborative five-year Belize Mangrove Alliance Action Plan is aligned with national and global commitments goals and targets.

A total of thirty-six prioritized strategies have been identified as relevant to the Belize Mangrove Alliance Action Plan, to guide the Belize-based activities and collaborations over the five-year timeframe (2022 – 2027), spread across five thematic areas: Government Policies and Legislation; Strengthening Enforcement; Outreach and Awareness; Mangrove Restoration and Contamination in the Watersheds. These strategies are aligned with the Action Plan Outcomes.

The first outcome is strengthening the legislative and policy framework for protection of mangrove values. The following outputs are targeted under this outcome: 1) By the end of 2024, national land use planning and decision making in Belize recognizes and integrates mangrove values; 2) By the end of 2023, Belize’s updated Coastal Zone national and regional plans integrate priority sites and mangrove values; 3) By the end of 2026, the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) plans are well socialized and being implemented; 4) Between 2022 and 2027, the Belize Mangrove Alliance is providing technical input on mangrove and riparian forest issues that is used in national decision making; 4) By 2023, targeted coordination across the relevant government departments and Ministries has improved, with structures in place for effective communication and action on mangrove issue.

The second outcome is reduced illegal clearance of mangroves. The following outputs are targeted under this outcome: 1) Between 2022 and 2027, enforcement of Belize’s mangrove legislation has improved outcomes; 2) By 2027, municipal and village councils and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development will be compliant with national regulations and the need for permits; 3) By 2027, there will be improved national appreciation for and understanding of the value of mangroves.

The third outcome is to creating an engaged and informed general public. The following outputs are targeted under this outcome: 1) By 2027, there will be improved national appreciation for and understanding of the value of mangroves; 2) By 2027, there will be improved awareness of the importance of mangroves in the next generation.

The fourth outcome is successful mangroves restoration. The following outputs are targeted under this outcome: 1) By 2027, there has been successful reforestation of critical mangrove areas on national and private lands; 2) By 2027, Belize will have developed at least two incentive programs that promote nature-based solutions, targeted at private sector and business; 3) Between 2022 and 2027 the Belize Mangrove Alliance will track mangrove coverage and composition, rate of deforestation and reforestation on a biennial basis.
The fifth outcome is addressing contamination in the watersheds. This outcome targets the following outputs: 1) Between 2022 and 2027, members of Belize Mangrove Alliance will advocate for effective black and grey water management in urban areas and watersheds when opportunities arise; 2) The Belize Mangrove Alliance has an operational structure that supports implementation of the Action Plan; 3) The Belize Mangrove Alliance has increased its membership by at least 25% over the 5-year implementation period; 4) The Belize Mangrove Alliance has identified financial sustainability mechanisms for covering annual administration costs; 5) The Belize Mangrove Alliance has developed and is implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan.

Photo Credit :