Central American River Turtle (Dermatemys mawii)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 10251258
FFI works by invitation around the world to save species from extinction, habitats from destruction and to encourage sustainable development. Formed in 1903 in the United Kingdom, FFI acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, choosing solutions that are sustainable, are based on sound science and take account of human needs. We work through partnerships that ensure local ownership and lasting results and believe success lies in devising strategies that both conserve biodiversity and contribute to human development. Our guiding principles are to: respond to local needs, respect national priorities, develop strategic partnerships and strengthen our partners’ capacity. Our program of activities in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, and Eurasia is delivered principally through: building capacity to equip local people and agencies to manage their natural heritage; monitoring causes of biodiversity loss and its impact on local people, identifying and implementing solutions that benefit people and wildlife; and securing threatened areas of high biodiversity importance through land purchase and local conservation agreements. FFI has been working to strengthen conservation management in Belize since 1998, when we became aware that the integrity of one of Central America’s last unbroken stretches of broadleaf forest was being threatened. FFI quickly mobilized and 6,000 hectares of land was purchased along Belize’s Golden Stream. This area of broad-leaf and riparian forest, now formally established as the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP), would otherwise have been converted to citrus plantations and shrimp farms, with disastrous consequences for the pristine forest ecosystem. In 1999, the land was formally transferred to a nascent Mayan communityoriented organization, the Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axché), with whom FFI had already forged a formal alliance. FFI has since channelled its energies towards developing Ya’axché’s capacity to manage the area effectively and sustainably, and improve the welfare of local communities through sustainable agro-forestry, education and training. We continue to support Ya’axché as a close institutional partner, assisting its growth from a small grassroots group towards becoming a strong and selfsustaining organization and a major innovator in Belize’s conservation arena. At a national level, FFI also works in partnership with the government to advocate for effective conservation through national planning and revision of relevant policies and legislation. Building upon this strong foundation, in 2008 FFI and Ya'axché teamed up with government (Belize’s Forest and Fisheries Departments) and non-governmental organisations (the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment and The Nature Conservancy) to develop a Conservation Action Strategy for an area within Southern Belize, known as the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor (MMMC), spanning approximately one million acres. Through consultation with local communities and other stakeholders, this strategy identified the greatest threats to the biodiversity of the area and formulated an action plan. Of particular note in the strategy was the importance assigned to preventing the extinction of the Hicatee turtle. To date FFI has been supporting its local partners to protect the species within several watersheds, through improving the effectiveness of Protected Area Management and law enforcement efforts. However, the CAS noted that local efforts are not sufficient to safeguard the species and a national approach must be adopted. This project aims to address this need.
Project 10251258 location - Belize, North America