Message from the M i n i s t e r of Fo r e s t r y, F i s h e r i e s a n d Sustainable Development The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) continues to play a critical role in providing much needed financial resources for the management of Belizeâ€™s network of protected areas. We invite you to join us in yet another giant leap forward toward the transformation and continued success of PACT. With the multitude of threats facing conservation in Belize, as well as the scarce financial resources within managerial entities to respond to these threats, we must partner with each other, NGOs, CBOs, Ministries and individuals alike, to maximize available resources, minimize duplication of efforts and increase efficiencies. All efforts must be coordinated and partners must collaborate at all levels to bring about the optimal approach to the management of protected areas. Since its inception in 1997, PACT has financed more than 400 projects and invested over $20 million dollars in conservation and sustainable development. Since then, PACT has also gained international visibility for being a unique and innovative sustainable financing mechanism for conservation. The transparent and accountable systems of collecting revenues, investing, and managing grants are its key competences. Its public-private partnerships in implementing the National Protected Areas Policy and Systems Plan are its hallmark and PACT is now, once again, looking to further strengthen its ability to grow the fund. While these investments were well deserved by the recipients and accomplished a multitude of goals and objectives across the conservation spectrum, the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation demand our focus on specific areas and warrant larger investments to effectively combat these issues. PACT plans on further awarding significant financial resources to combat the effects of climate change on Belizeâ€™s natural resources, substantially reduce incursions into our protected areas, and further increase the sustainability of these resources for future generations. I implore all recipients to utilize these funds wisely and where possible use them to leverage other funds so the work can continue. We must take it upon ourselves to impart the knowledge, and teach our populace, especially our youths, to respect, accept and continue the work of conservation in this jewel of ours. PACT commits to increase its leveraging capacity to ensure a continuous increase in funding for protected areas. Be assured that the Government of Belize is cognizant of the vital role of and the indelible efforts of our stakeholders and collaborators in achieving effective and efficient management of Belizeâ€™s protected areas. I would like to acknowledge my predecessor and thank the Board of Directors and the Advisory Council, but also take this opportunity to thank all of you, especially those on the ground, for your continuous efforts in preserving our natural heritage. I assure you that we remain committed to sustaining a financial mechanism for protected areas within Belize and will strive even harder to working with all of you in this endeavour.
Senator Honorable Lisel Alamilla (Mrs.) Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development