Extraordinary efforts to win the fire race in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area

Information originally posted bu IUCN. Available here

Surrounding the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area means observing this striking contrast between the land used for agriculture and livestock purposes and the thick green jungle that is threatened each year by burning during the dry season.

Belize, June 30th 2020 (IUCN). Río Bravo is a privately protected area managed by the Programme for Belize organization and is one of the areas prioritized in the Selva Maya Natural Resources Protection Project. The narrow road that borders it is the only thing that separates it from the fires like the one registered in the Mennonite farms located in the northeast section of the reserve. The quick response of the park rangers and the manager of the Hill Bank field station (research station) made it possible to control the fire and prevent damage to the forest.

However, great efforts to arrive at the burning areas do not always coincide with the speed with which the fire expands. This was the case in the area known as Duck Ridge in the northern part of the area, where fire affected 13.4 acres of pine savannah, 4 within the protected area. A similar situation occurred in other areas such as Lemonal and Harry Jones, which burned again five days later, but was also controlled.

The efforts of those who are part of the Programme for Belize crew who fight fires involve mobilizing by whatever means, including on rafts to reach remote places, and camping on the ground. The staff is also beneficiary of the Project in the country, and has received training in fire management and control with the aim of strengthening their capabilities in this commendable work.

This is possible thanks to the support from the German Government through the Selva Maya Program, which through the German Development Bank (KfW) finances the Selva Maya Natural Resources Protection Project, implemented by IUCN, to support the counterpart organizations such as the Forest Department in Belize.

For more information contact: Adriana González, Communication Officer, [email protected]