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5 Years worth of reasons to celebrate!

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The University of Belize Environmental Research Institute (UB ERI), the leading organization primarily addressing the gap in local capacity for research and monitoring, celebrated its 5th anniversary!

Five years ago more than 100 people representing over 40 local and international organizations and entities attended the UB ERI’s launch event held on January 28th, 2010 at the UB Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan. The mission, vision, ongoing and future work of the ERI was presented at this event.

Over these 5 years, UB ERI has remained committed to producing results that are relevant and applicable to the sustainable management of Belize’s natural resource. The institute has never stopped investing in its ability to fulfil NRM needs through research, monitoring programs, data management, capacity building and scientific paper publishing.

The work of the Institute is carried out by a team of dedicated professionals led by Dr. Leandro Cho-Ricketts and Dr. Elma Kay. The Belmopan office is the hub of the day-to-day activities. On a busy day with all staff on site, there are up to 15 brilliant minds working diligently at making things happen with the support of Ian Sangster, Financial Administrator and Julissa Lopez, Administrative Assistant. A select few UB students have joined the team as Student Assistants and have not only contributed greatly to the growth of the ERI but have also gained valuable professional experience. Out at the Calabash Caye Field Station, a team of 8 persons led by Nicole Craig, Station Manager, happily host local and foreign researchers/visitors throughout the year.

The main efforts over the last few years have been within the National Biodiversity Monitoring Program and the National Training Program for Protected Areas Management. Major investments have been made into the monitoring programs. The marine team systematically collects data on the Turneffe Atoll eco-system while the wildlife team collects data in the Central Belize Wildlife Corridor and in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. The findings are housed in the databases accessible at the organization’s website.

Many of the activities the Institute is involved in require partner collaboration with local and international NGOs, Government departments, Community Based Organizations and UB departments. The ERI’s work is possible through the support and collaboration of entities such as The Oak Foundation, Panthera, PACT, and the German Initiative (GIZ). Our partners were recognized during this year's partner recognition and anniversary celebrations.

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As this milestone is celebrated, the UB ERI acknowledges that Belize’s sustainable development requires continued work in the area of environmental research as a valuable contribution to informed decision-making and for improved resource evaluation and risk analysis. The Institute also values the importance of capacity building of conservation professionals, engagement of the Belizean community and collaboration with partner organizations.

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In celebration of its anniversary, the UB ERI is pleased to launch their new logo! Accompanied by the UB logo, it illustrates a blue fish figure representing Belize’s marine wealth, the burnt orange/brown leaf in the middle represents the Earth and the green leaf is representative of our forest resources. All these are supported and embraced by people. The main idea is that our resources need to be "wisely held" so they can be managed sustainably.

Check out images from the Anniversary Celebration at

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