The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Launches the National Training Progr
On Wednesday, June 6th the the National Protected Areas Secretariat (NPAS) under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Research Institute launched the National Training Program for Protected Areas Management (NTPPAM). The program was developed by the ERI and its partners with support from the Global Environment Facility through a project on “Strengthening National Capacities for the Operationalization, Consolidation and Sustainability of Belize’s Protected Areas System”(SNC).
Honorable Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development gave the keynote address at the launch and shared her enthusiasm and hopes for the program as the main capacity building program for Belize’s Protected Areas System. She also praised the ERI for its work in developing the program.
The main idea of the training program is to establish effective institutional capacity within protected areas management organizations for strategic planning, program development and implementation and long term sustainability. This objective is to be achieved through applied training based on priority areas identified in the National Training Needs Assessment for Protected Areas Management. The NTPPAM also aims to institutionalize the program within Belize to ensure continuity and follow through in the form of an established support system, coordination in order to maximize resources and avoid duplication of efforts, and continuous engagement of local or international partners with expertise in the various areas related to protected areas management to participate in the delivery of training and as a way of ensuring the program’s quality and relevance.
The NTPPAM will run over a period of three years with courses focused on six priority areas as identified in the National Training Needs Assessment for Protected Areas Management. The priority areas include Institutional and Organizational Strengthening, Research and Monitoring in Protected Areas, Specialized Ranger Training, Conservation/Sustainable Financing for Protected Areas, Protected Areas Management Effectiveness and Protected Area Management Planning.
Organizations that provided support for the development of the program include the Ya’axché Conservation Trust, Center for Protected Areas Management Training at Colorado State University, the United Nations Development Program and the Oak Foundation. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust along with the SNC project have pledged their commitment to implementing the first 2 years of the program starting in August 2012.