Programme for Belize’s Mission Statement is:
‘TO CONSERVE THE BIODIVERSITY AND PROMOTE THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF BELIZE TROUGH THE PROPER MANAGEMENT OF THE RIO BRAVO CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT AREA AND OTHER LANDS ENTRUSTED TO IT.’
In the pursuit of this mission, PfB engages in programmes such as archaeological research at the La Milpa Maya Site and other sites on the RBCMA in conjunction with Boston University and the University of Texas; a timber and pine savannah research programmes aimed at identifying the most optimal approach to sustainable timber extraction on the RBCMA and a Carbon Sequestration pilot programme, the first of seven globally approved projects to start on the ground research on how forest conservation could combat global warming.
PfB also engages in ecological research and monitoring of migratory and resident avifaunal species such as the Yellow Headed Parrot; a freshwater management programme which looks at the New River Lagoon, its tributaries and the New River; a biological connectivity programme which looks at the RBCMA and the critical links it forms with other protected areas in Northern Belize and a tourism programme which serves as an important educational and sustainable economic revenue source for the organization’s management efforts. Our tourism program has been our most successful development program to date since being initiated in 1992.
The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area situated in the Orange Walk District is located in north-western Belize. Centered on coordinates 17° 45’ N, 88° 50’ W, the western boundary of the RBCMA abuts the international border with Guatemala in the Peten Region and forms a natural linkage with the Rio Azul National Park located within the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
The area is also contiguous with the Aguas Turbias National Park located on the Belizean side. The eastern portion of the RBCMA extends to the New River Lagoon on the north Belizean coastal plain and in the south-east to the Labouring Creek in the central Belize River Valley.
The altitude of the RBCMA lies between 13 – 787ft or 4 – 240m above sea level. The RBCMA lies within the Subtropical Moist Life Zone with annual rainfall around c.60 inches/year (1550 mm pa.) and having a three-month dry season February thru April and a nine-month bi-modal wet season which peaks June thru October.
The only two areas inhabited within the RBCMA are the two facilities located at our La Milpa and Hill Bank sites being staffed by PfB personnel. Mennonite Communities and predominantly Mestizo Villages are located to the North and East of the property. Creole communities predominantly are dispersed within the Belize River Valley to the east of the property. The private land estates of Gallon Jug and Yalbac buffer the south. It is estimated that the total population surrounding the RBCMA from all the communities is around 25,000.