Third Trinational Park Rangers Exchange

From 6th to 9th of October, 2015, for the third consecutive year, the regional exchange of Park Rangers of the protected areas of the countries of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico was carried out. This year the hosting place was the field station “La Milpa”, located northwest of Belize and adjacent to the borders of Guatemala and Mexico. About 50 park rangers attended the exchange from the three countries.15

As in previous editions, this meeting aimed to promote the rapprochement between those responsible for monitoring and safeguarding within protected areas, to exchange successful experiences and to strengthen the coordination of joint actions based on the action plans of previous meetings. These action plans include the definition of patrol schemes, coordination levels, ranger’s duties and regulations, legal framework that protects the actions in the field and the organizational structure of rangers. A substantial difference is that for the first time the Natural Protected Area of ​​Balaan K’aax (Quintana Roo) participated along with the community brigades that help this reserve with inspection and surveillance tours.

One of the central subjects of the discussions was to reflect on the challenges to achieve an effective cross-border integration agenda in terms of environmental cooperation in all three countries as an element that favors and facilitates the continuity of joint actions; before this and to contextualize this aspect it was important the intervention of ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), who suggested some key elements to consider for this integration: 1) That the included territories participate in a process of common integration; 2) To achieve a high level political agreement among the involved countries that materialize in some institutional framework, and 3) That the participation of the countries involved be recognized.