Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA)

Project Info

Project Description

Nestled deep in the sub-tropical forest of north-western Belize and renowned for being the largest private reserve and second largest single protected area in the country, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA) is located only two and a half hours away from Belize City. However, before it became a haven for wildlife of all forms, in Pre-Classic times the lands now known as the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area was home to Belize’s first inhabitants, the Maya.  With the mysterious demise of the great Maya civilization around 1000 A.D., and the colonization of what we now call Belize, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area was plundered for logwood and then mahogany for trade with Europe. In the 1980s when Belize’s focus shifted to agro-industry, the RBCMA lands took on a higher agricultural value. Fortunately, there was also a resurgence of attention on the value of the environment at the same time. It was with this commitment to the environment that in 1988, the non-profit organization Programme for Belize (PFB) gained access to 90,000 acres of land in the Orange Walk District. This donation from Coca Cola Inc marked the start of PfB’s flagship project, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area. Since then, the conservation site has increased to a total of 260,000 acres representing approximately 4% of Belize’s total land area. In terms of natural vegetation communities, the RBCMA is the most diverse protected area in Belize. It also makes a significant contribution to the representation of community types within the national protected area system.

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