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Deforestation in Belize

We have compiled online and other multimedia sources about tropical conservation biology centered around a unique story of deforestation in the rainforests of Belize. The project conveys the complex story of how deforestation is being driven by the illegal collection of Xate palm leaves in the Chiquibul by impoverished Guatemalans. The leaves are sold in the international floral market and many end up in churches used during Palm Sunday celebrations. The module presents topics in tropical forest ecology such as poaching, bushmeat, illegal wildlife trade, illegal logging, and agricultural encroachment all driven by the collection of Xate palms. It also presents solutions such as environmental security, sustainable development and agriculture, ecotourism, environmental education, carbon offsets, research and monitoring, all carried out by one non-profit, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). The problems are current and real and this module not only educates but shows students how they can put conservation into action. The material could be used in a variety of ecology and conservation biology courses at the college level. The site is full of resources, including powerpoints.


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