Conservation volunteering in Belize

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2017: 26 Nov, 3 Dec, 10 Dec
2018: 6 Jan, 13 Jan, 20 Jan, 27 Jan, 3 Feb, 10 Feb, 17 Feb, 24 Feb, 3 Mar, 10 Mar, 17 Mar, 24 Mar, 31 Mar, 7 Apr, 14 Apr, 21 Apr, 28 Apr, 5 May, 12 May, 19 May, 26 May, 2 Jun, 9 Jun, 16 Jun, 23 Jun, 30 Jun, 7 Jul, 14 Jul, 21 Jul, 28 Jul, 4 Aug, 11 Aug, 18 Aug, 25 Aug, 1 Sep, 8 Sep, 15 Sep, 22 Sep, 29 Sep, 6 Oct, 13 Oct, 20 Oct, 27 Oct, 3 Nov, 10 Nov, 17 Nov, 24 Nov, 1 Dec, 8 Dec, 15 Dec
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Conservation volunteering in Belize

Environment

The project is part of a leading non-profit organisation which has the management responsibility for three protected areas and takes a community centred approach to all conservation and development work. They encourage sustainable use of resources within the local community.

Their research findings guide government legislation and decision making to protect the land, flora and fauna. Their findings on the local manatee population has provided empirical evidence to demonstrate that the population is recovering with 10% of manatee sightings being calves, indicating a healthy reproductive and growing population. Their research has providing knowledge on where they breed, feed and their general behaviours.

In response to these findings, the project continues to install 'no wake' zones in areas of high manatee presence, research sea grass beds in order to protect their favoured habitat, and plan to obtain satellite tagging devices to attach to individuals to record their movements in the future.

Their plans for the future include empowering communities to manage fisheries, forests and watersheds sustainably; to educate the local community to understand and appreciate how special their local area is on a global scale; and to develop a green economy that enables people to escape from poverty while protecting the natural capital on which their livelihoods depend.

Community

Social responsibility: Before volunteers depart we provide them with a detailed volunteering guide on the area they will be visiting. We try to educate and encourage our volunteers to understand and respect the local cultures and customs.

Economic responsibility: For over 10 years we have been providing volunteers to help at charitable projects around the world. A UK charity has now been launched to build on this success by providing financial assistance to overseas causes as well. The organisations we work with are often struggling to fund the work they are doing so every penny raised makes a real difference.

This is a locally run organisation, providing employment for local Belizean staff. While volunteers are in-country, they stay in locally owned accommodation and homestays and we encourage them to buy locally and support local businesses.

Environmental responsibility: One of the main negative impacts of our volunteers traveling, is the carbon dioxide created from flights. We work with an Amazon conservation project that helps to ensure that carbon is sequestered through tree planting. While our volunteers and customers are overseas, we identify and encourage simple steps to minimise their impact on the local environment. And at our office in the UK we try to recycle as much of our office waste as possible, use recycled products where available, avoid printing (no brochures) and minimise energy usage.

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