The Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) is a private conservation area owned and held in trust for the people of Belize by Programme for Belize (PfB), a private, not-for-profit, national, non-governmental organization. PfB’s original mandate on the RBCMA as established in 1988 is to preserve the natural heritage and biological diversity of Belize, generate sufficient income through the proper management of the area for its continued perpetual care and to participate in the economic development of the wider RBCMA in furthering the national economic interest
PfB’s Articles of Association and its Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Belize provide PfB with the opportunity to engage in a wealth of permissible activities within the confines of the RBCMA so long as it strengthens the conservation of the biodiversity found within. PfB’s management regime is based on ecosystem protection and sustainable use of forest resources, therefore corresponding to an IUCN category VI protected area. The RBCMA is also an important component of the Belize National Protected Area System and a natural cross-border extension of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.
The RBCMA is home to a wide cross section of biodiversity possibly not found as concentrated anywhere else in the country of Belize. The uniqueness of this area serves as a model for other protected areas that continue to strive towards the goal of self-sustainability in the management of the resources under a sustainable development theme.
Thousands of visitors have come and gone after glimpsing a rare bird or even the elusive jaguar and seeing a crocodile or more on a night spotting tour. Many have woken up to the shrills and calls of birds and howler monkeys in the morning, watched the sun set rise and set across the New River Lagoon or simply enjoyed the tranquility brought on by being immersed into the solitude of the rainforest inside Programme for Belize’s flagship project, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.
PfB markets itself as the educational and cultural leader in ecotourism excursions. Our marketing materials will continue to focus on the opportunities for nature lovers to experience and learn about the RBCMA. Our La Milpa Ecolodge and Research Center is promoted as the ‘Birder’s Paradise of Belize’ for which it has become renown and respected. In addition, we promote Hill Bank as a core complimentary site and in the future as ‘the inland fly-fishing and aquatics destination’. Our Hill Bank Field Station will be poised to provide the ideal water based complement to the La Milpa Ecolodge and Research Center for the nature oriented tourist as we continue our expansion works.”