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UB ERI Additional Building Inauguration

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The University of Belize - Environmental Research Institute (UB-ERI), launched in January 2010, was created primarily to address the large gap in local capacity for research and monitoring that exists within Belize. Now after over four years of hard work and dedication the ERI has grown and bloomed. On Thursday, February 20th, 2014 came the inauguration of additional installations on the ERI compound that will now house our dry laboratory and conference room.

Among those who spoke at the opening ceremony; hosted on the ERI compound included the UB-ERI Administrative Director, Dr. Leandra Ricketts; Acting UB President and Chair of UB ERI's Steering Committee, Dr. W. Wright, ERI's Terrestrial Science Director, Dr. Elma Kay; and Dr. Alan Rabinowitz CEO of Panthera; a non-profit conservation organization devoted to protecting the world's 37 wild cat species.

During the ceremony, partners in the construction of the wooden building were recognized with plaques that will be place on the conference walls to honour their collaboration and generosity. Panthera, Bull Ridge Co. Ltd., Yalbac Ranch and Cattle Cooperation (YRCC) along with Bull Run Overseas Ltd. played an important role in making the building a reality. The mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) panelling in the conference room came from trees logged in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, which Bull Ridge Co. Ltd. currently manages under a long-term forest license. The sapodilla (Manikara zapota) forming the exterior panelling and the jobillo (Astronium graveolens) used on one of the conference room walls was harvested, milled and donated by the YRCC, which sustainably manages Natural forest for production of high quality lumber for domestic use and for exportation. Their production is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), while their Iguana Creek Mill is certified under ESC's chain of custody standards.

After the short ceremony Hon. Lisel Alamilla along with Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, were asked to cut the opening ribbon officially inaugurating the new installations. Guests were treated to a tour of the installations followed by a cocktail hour.

Again the ERI sends out great thanks to the building partners: Panthera, Yalbac Ranch & Cattle Corporation, Bull Ridge Co. Ltd. and Bull Run Overseas Ltd. for their generous contributions and partnerships. We would also like to thank our other partners and friends for their contribution and support to the institution over the years.

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