A coalition of conservationists purchase Belize Maya Forest to save it from deforestation

A 236,000 acre area of land that spans Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala was previously owned by the Forestland Group, a US logging company, however, a coalition of conservation organizations have purchased it to save it from deforestation.

The organizations behind the purchase include the Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Trust, World Land Trust, University of Belize Environmental Research Institute, and Wildlife Conservation Society. Elma Kay, Science Director at the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute, said that 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.”

Named the ‘Belize Maya Forest’ 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. It also allows for local communities to reconnect with the land while providing opportunities for generated income.

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