The Maya Golden Landscape, a 770,000-acre area of public and private protected lands and Mayan communities in southern Belize, has recently experienced high deforestation rates due to unsustainable agricultural practices and the region’s growing population. Rural communities are crucial actors in protecting these important conservation areas, yet many residents, especially youth, are not familiar with effective conservation-related practices. The IAF supports community-led approaches to expanding economic opportunity and protecting natural resources in Belize. Our grantee partner, Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust (YCT), is promoting best practices in sustainable forest management by involving local communities in capturing, analyzing, and sharing data on biodiversity on their farms. YCT is also strengthening the business skills of small family or community-run enterprises and stimulating rural children and youth’s interest in being future stewards of their communities’ forests.
|Project:||Location:||Years active:||IAF grant funding:||Counterpart commitment:||Direct beneficiaries:||Indirect beneficiaries:||Program areas:|
|Enhancing Biodiversity Awareness and Improving Rural Livelihoods in Southern Belize||Belize||2019 – 2022||$260,000||$160,875||700 individuals||3,000 individuals||agriculture and food security
leadership and education
natural resource management
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Recent News and Stories
By sustainably harvesting forests, Mexican community organizations are stemming deforestation and ensuring opportunities for all people to thrive in their home communities.
Few would have imagined in the early days that former IAF grantee partner Fundación Defensores del Chaco would become a youth-led powerhouse mobilizing entire towns to advocate for themselves. But what started as a street soccer team became a space where young people and their communities could bring their problems and find solutions together.
"Government is not separate from the people. “Government” is us. But the government doesn’t necessarily automatically carry out the will of the people. It responds to scrutiny. It is the responsibility of every citizen to know what leaders are doing," said Ramón Daubón, former IAF Vice President for Programs, in our recent conversation.