Enhancing collaboration for conservation and development in southern belize by




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ENHANCING COLLABORATION FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN BELIZE

by

Gregory W. De Vries, Margaret F. Haines, Steven B. Hufnagel, Andrew K. Laird,



Kyle D. Rearick, and Osmany E. Salas

A project submitted

in partial fulfillment of the requirements

for the degree of

Master of Science in Resource Policy and Behavior

or Master of Landscape Architecture

in the School of Natural Resources & Environment

at the University of Michigan

April 2003

Faculty advisors:

Professor Julia M. Wondolleck

Professor Steven R. Brechin



Abstract


Like many places in the world, Belize is exploring ways to balance the sometimes complementary and sometimes conflicting objectives of economic development and natural resource conservation. Collaboration among individuals and organizations is increasingly used to resolve natural resource conflicts and to facilitate integrated conservation and development at an ecosystem scale. A team of graduate students from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan conducted field research in the Toledo District of Belize to develop an understanding of collaborative processes in a Belizean context. The research team interviewed more than 60 individuals involved in conservation and development, including key government ministers and agency personnel, NGO staff, community leaders, and representatives from the private sector. Four case studies were selected and analyzed: the Maya Mountain Marine Area Transect, the Toledo Watershed Association, the Golden Stream Corridor, and the Bladen Management Consortium. The research team disaggregated these case studies to understand the factors that constrain and promote collaboration, and to identify opportunities for building on existing multi-stakeholder conservation and development initiatives in the Toledo District and beyond. Analysis of the case studies revealed that lack of trust among stakeholders, differing visions and strategies, conflict and competition, resource constraints, power and politics, organizational barriers, and community related constraints present challenges to collaboration in the District. Nonetheless, when collaboration does take place it is because of the power of existing relationships, political support, potential for joint gains, shared concerns, and an interest in moving forward. While collaborative resource management poses challenges, it holds promise as an effective means to integrate complex interests and goals into decisions regarding conservation and economic development.

Acknowledgements


This project would not have been possible without the tremendous support we received from so many people and organizations in Belize. Above all, our sincerest gratitude goes to the people of the Toledo District who courteously welcomed us into their homes and places of work, and who unselfishly shared their extensive knowledge and experiences with us. The people of Indian Creek, Golden Stream, Medina Bank, Santa Cruz, Barranco, Monkey River, and Punta Gorda were especially patient with us, and helped us to grasp the many details that would otherwise have eluded us.

We are grateful to the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) for providing us the opportunity to develop and implement this Master’s Project. We thank our project advisors, Professor Julia Wondolleck and Professor Steven Brechin, for their invaluable support and guidance. Julia and Steve were instrumental in helping us to shape this report into a comprehensible and useful form. Their unwavering commitment to our project and constructive comments propelled us forward during the many trying times we faced over the past 12 months.

Our field research was funded by grants from the Horace H. Rackham’s School of Graduate Studies Discretionary Funds, SNRE and the Prentice Fund, the Ecosystem Management Initiative at the University of Michigan, National Audubon Society, and World Wildlife Fund-Central America.

In Belize, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment John Briceño, Chief Forest Officer Oswaldo Sabido, and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust’s Executive Director Valerie Woods supported our project in principle, thereby giving us the credibility we needed. The staff of the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) helped to initially facilitate some important project logistics, including lending us a company vehicle on a few occasions. The BAS library and office facilities were made available to the project team. The staff at the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust, Maya Leaders’ Alliance, Toledo Association for Sustainable Tourism and Empowerment, Toledo Development Corporation, Fauna & Flora International-Belize, and the Land Information Center were also extremely helpful and supportive, making important documents and maps available to the team.

We are also appreciative of the support, constructive feedback, and advice we received from our colleagues and fellow students at the University of Michigan.

Throughout our study, we were impressed and encouraged by the growing awareness of the need to develop partnerships and other collaborative arrangements across all stakeholders in the Toledo District and other parts of Belize. This growing awareness shows that people can work together to facilitate more integrated management of natural resources.

The following personal acknowledgements cannot be left unstated:

Gregory Wade De Vries: I express gratitude for my fellow team members. We experienced firsthand the challenges and rewards of collaboration through the evolution of this project.

Margaret Fenimore Haines: I thank my family for their constant enthusiasm and support and for keeping me in their thoughts.

Steven Butler Hufnagel: I thank my wife Liza for her love, support, and humor over three semesters and a summer with too much time away from each other.

Andrew Laird: Thank you, Emma and Giovanni, for letting us stay at your place and providing a great hangout at Earth Runnin’s in Punta Gorda.

Kyle Rearick: I thank Kelley, my friend and partner, for her supportive words, critical eye, and caring thoughts throughout this process.

Osmany Salas: I am grateful to the Japan-IDB Scholarship Program for sponsoring my studies. To my wife Lupi, my daughter Ki’ila, and my mom Mirta – I would not have been able to face the many challenges over the past two years if it wasn’t for your unflinching love and support.
Ann Arbor, Michigan

April 16, 2003



Table of Contents


Abstract iii

Acknowledgements iii

Table of Contents v

Figures and Maps viii

Tables viii

Frequently Used Acronyms ix



Chapter One: Introduction 1

Overview 1

Research Questions and Approach 3

Methodology 6

Report Structure 8

Chapter Two: Background 11

Belize – National Context 11

Conservation in Belize 16

Toledo District: Context and Issues 27



Chapter Three: The Struggle for Land Tenure and Resource Control in Southern Belize 43

Introduction 43

Background 43

Roads and Reservations 47

Maya Advocacy 50

Convoluted Interests and Competing Claims 54

Towards a Resolution 61

Implications for Land and Resource Management 65

Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management 67

Conclusion 73



Chapter Four: Forces that Promote and Constrain Collaboration 77

Factors that Foster Collaboration 78

Challenges to Effective Collaboration 84

Opportunities for Increasing Collaboration: Case Study Approach 88



Chapter Five: TIDE and the Maya Mountain Marine Transect 91

Introduction 91

Background 91

Analysis 105

Conclusions 118

Chapter Six: The Toledo Watershed Association and SAGE 121

Introduction 121

Background 122

Analysis 133

Conclusions 146

Chapter Seven: The Golden Stream Corridor 149

Introduction 149

Background 150

Analysis 156

Conclusions 167

Chapter Eight: The Bladen Management Consortium 169

Introduction 169

Background 170

Analysis 184

Conclusions 191

Chapter Nine: Conclusions 193

Constraints and Challenges to Greater Collaboration 193

Forces Facilitating Collaboration in Toledo 205

Opportunities for Expanding and Improving Collaboration in Toledo 213

Final Thoughts 226

Appendices 229

Appendix I – List of Interviewees 230

Appendix II -- Belize Protected Areas 232

References 239

Endnotes 255

Figures and Maps


Figure 1: Government Agencies with Legal Jurisdiction over Protected Areas.………..…..19

Map 1: Belize – Regional Location……………………………………………………...….11

Map 2: Administrative Districts of Belize………………………………………………......12

Map 3: Belize Protected Areas……………………………….…………………….……….23

Map 4: Watersheds of the Toledo District………………………….…………….…….…...38

Map 5: Protected Areas of the Toledo District…...…………………………….…………...39

Map 6: Toledo District Forest Licenses………………………………………..….………...46

Map 7: Toledo District Indian Reserves….………………………………………..………..48

Map 8: Sarstoon-Temash National Park….…………………………………………..……..68

Map 9: Land Parcels in the Golden Stream Watershed…………………………..….….…151

Map 10: Bladen Nature Reserve……………………………………………………..……..170

Tables


Table 1: Broad Ecosystem Classes and Land Uses by Cover…………………………...….18

Table 2: Protected Areas of the Toledo District…………………………………...………..37



Frequently Used Acronyms


AMMA Ancient Monuments and Antiquities Act

ANDA Association of National Development Agencies

APAMO Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations

BACONGO Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Governmental Organizations

BAS Belize Audubon Society

BCER Boden Creek Ecological Reserve

BCES Belize Center for Environmental Studies

BFREE Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education

BGA Banana Growers Association

BITI Belize Indigenous Training Institute

BLE Belize Lodge & Excursions

BNIC Belize National Indigenous Council

BTB Belize Tourism Board

BTIA Belize Tourism Industry Association

CARD Community-initiated Agriculture and Resource Development

CBO Community-based organization

CI Conservation International

CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

CREP Caribbean Regional Environmental Program

CZMA Coastal Zone Management Authority

EDF EcoLogic Development Fund

EEV EcoLogic Enterprise Ventures

ESTAP Environmental and Social Technical Assistance Project

FFI Fauna & Flora International

FON Friends of Nature

GDP Gross Domestic Product

GEF Global Environmental Facility

GOB Government of Belize

GSC Golden Stream Corridor

GSCP Golden Stream Corridor Preserve

IACHR Inter-American Commission for Human Rights

IADB Inter-American Development Bank

ICC Inuit Circumpolar Conference

IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development

ILRC Indian Law Resource Center

INGO International non-governmental organization

IUCN World Conservation Union

KCB Kekchi Council of Belize

MBCP Mesoamerican Biological Corridors Project

MBRS Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System

MED Ministry of Economic Development

MLA Maya Leaders’ Alliance

MMAP Maya Mountains Archaeological Project

MMMAT Maya Mountain Marine Area Transect

MMMC Maya Mountain Marine Corridor

MNRECI Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, Commerce and Industry

MOA Memorandum of Agreement

MOU Memorandum of Understanding

MPA Marine protected area

NGC National Garifuna Council

NGO Non-governmental organization

NPSA National Parks System Act

OAS Organization of American States

PA Protected area

PACT Protected Areas Conservation Trust

PCNP Payne’s Creek National Park

PFB Programme for Belize

PHMR Port Honduras Marine Reserve

PHWA Port Honduras Watershed Association

PUP Peoples’ United Party

REAs Rapid Ecological Assessments

RDP Regional Development Plan

SAGE Southern Alliance for Grassroots Empowerment

SATIIM Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management

SCMR Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve

SCP Site Conservation Plan

SIT School for International Training

SPEAR Society for the Promotion of Education and Research

SRDC Southern Region Development Corporation

STNP Sarstoon-Temash National Park

SWA Sibun Watershed Association

TAA Toledo Alcaldes Association

TASTE Toledo Association for Sustainable Tourism and Empowerment

TDC Toledo Development Corporation

TIDE Toledo Institute for Development and Environment

TMCC Toledo Maya Cultural Council

TMWC Toledo Maya Women’s Council

TNC The Nature Conservancy

TRIGOH Tri-national Alliance for the Gulf of Honduras

TWA Toledo Watershed Association

UDP United Democratic Party

UNDP United Nations Development Program

USAID United States Agency for International Development

WCS Wildlife Conservation Society

YCT Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust

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