Hopkins Village, Belize (July 14, 2016) – The Pan American Development Foundation and Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort collaborated to plant mangrove seedlings in Southern Belize in an effort to reduce coastal erosion. In partnership with Christ the King Anglican School in Dangriga and Holy Family R.C. School in Hopkins, they completed two replanting activities in late June 2016.
Increased tourism activity and residential development are threatening Belize’s vital ecosystems, such as mangroves, which serve as natural barriers from storm surges and mitigate the impact of floods. The program hosted a two-day workshop on types of mangroves, principles of ecological restoration, reforestation case studies, reforestation methods and climate change adaptation engaging volunteers from both communities. The group of volunteers planted mangrove seedlings in two locations near each school.
“Sadly, each day our world becomes a little less green,” says Kirsty Roberts, general manager at Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort. “Here at the resort, we are taking steps to minimize our negative impact on our environment while increasing awareness and appreciation for nature. We’re pleased to partner with PADF to promote conservation and education in Belize.”
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort was named Belize’s first-ever Green Globe Certified beachfront property in 2010. Ten acres of the resort has been set aside as a nature preserve. Today, Hamanasi continues to be a pioneer in sustainable development by encouraging employees and visitors to support responsible tourism practices. PADF shares Hamanasi’s goals of conservation, environmental stewardship and sustainable community development.
This ecological restoration project builds on the Community Preparedness and Resilience Project, funded by the Government of Taiwan and implemented by PADF. This community-based project works to prepare and protect vulnerable populations in southern Belize from extreme weather and the effects of climate change.
“Beyond the environmental benefits, this project is also about gaining community engagement in support of coastal barriers in a manner that is sustainable and cost effective,” says Minerva Pinelo, PADF Project Director in Belize. “Beach volunteer groups, teachers, students and other community members are becoming environmental stewards. We believe that after the training and planting event, they will continue to look for ways to replicate PADF’s initiative and protect the environment by becoming agents of change within their communities.”
About Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort
Hamanasi believes in responsible, natural and cultural based eco-tourism. We understand the importance of preserving our environment and indigenous communities. Hamanasi is committed to protecting our ecosystems and their biodiversity by taking continual steps to being more environmentally friendly and aware. We actively encourage all employees and visitors to participate in these endeavors. Together we can make a difference!