Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

A large section of the tropical forest that spans Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala was previously owned by the Forestland Group, a US logging company, but now, a coalition of conservation organizations have purchased the 236,000-acre area to save it from deforestation.

Organizations backing the purchase include the Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, University of Belize Environmental Research Institute, and Wildlife Conservation Society. According to Elma Kay, Science Director at the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute, if it hadn’t gone to conservationists, this invaluable piece of rainforest would have likely been bought for “large-scale, industrial, mechanized, mono-crop agriculture,” but now, “the forest will… be protected in perpetuity.”

Dubbed the ‘Belize Maya Forest’ by its new owners, the area is a key biodiversity region that is home to five species of wild cat, as well as spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and hundreds of bird species. Julie Robinson, Belize program director for the Nature Conservancy, says that “Forests like these hold vast amounts of carbon,” so it is critical to protect them to try to reverse the unsettling climate trend the world is on.

However, the protection of the Belize Maya Forest conserves more than just the splendor of nature. It also allows for local communities to reconnect with the land while providing opportunities for generated income.

According to Kay, they’re “engaging all the different communities to participate in a conservation action plan. Most livelihoods are based on agriculture. One objective will be making agricultural livelihoods more sustainable, so there will be more climate-smart agriculture, agroforestry systems, systems that are restorative for soils.” Other collaborative plans will likely include low-impact eco-tourism and scientific research.

Philanthropic buying of land for protection offers a solution for habitat loss and protects biodiversity. That said, it is important for organizations that purchase land for conservation to collaborate with local communities. The coalition behind the Belize Maya Forest hopes to set an example for future nature conservationists to follow.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Philippines bans child marriage to help stop child abuse

According to a report issued last year by the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than half a billion girls and women across the globe were married as children, meaning under the age of majority (18). ... Read More

This circular leather alternative is made from algae and peels

As people are increasingly becoming reluctant to use clothes and fashion accessories made out of animal-sourced leather, more and more designers are turning their eyes towards more sustainable and ethical alternatives. One of the latest ... Read More

Rapidly retrofitting old buildings is key for climate goals – Here̵...

Buildings account for about 40 percent of annual global carbon emissions. In order to meet our climate goals, every building on the planet will have to be net-zero by 2050. But since most of the ... Read More

IKEA buys land ravaged by hurricane to transform into forests

The Optimist Daily has shared several stories about the popular Swedish furniture company IKEA and its environmentally friendly initiatives such as its buyback and resell program, its pledge to stop using plastic packaging, its zero-waste ... Read More

This market is tossing “use-by” dates to help curb food waste

The British supermarket Morrisons has decided to remove “use-by” dates on milk packaging by the end of the month in an effort to save millions of pints of milk from being needlessly thrown away each ... Read More

The population of Ugandan tree-climbing lions is growing

One of the only populations of Ishasha tree-climbing lions in the world resides in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Unfortunately, the population faces numerous threats such as loss of habitat, climate change, and illegal ... Read More