The secret to Belize’s ocean conservation: Belizeans

Recently, I listened to yet another lecture about the poor performance of many top-down development projects in post-earthquake Haiti.  And it’s not just in Haiti that large, centrally planned projects have failed. The history of development aid is rife with examples. There are oil pipelines built to generate public wealth but shanghaied by corrupt leaders to purchase weapons; fish processing plants built in deserts inhabited by nomads with no history of eating fish; countless misguided dam projects that displace millions of people.

Why does foreign aid often fail?

Big international projects are often not connected to the skills, aspirations, and cultures of the people they aim to help. Rather than empower people to help themselves, they attempt, often unsuccessfully, to impose solutions from the outside.

Fortunately, development institutions are learning from these mistakes. In trying to help Belize improve their fisheries and – simultaneously – the conservation of the country’s incrediblebarrier reef and associated complex of nearshore habitats, EDF has tried to apply lessons learned from Big Development to take a much different approach.

Starting with the locals

EDF staff spent a long time listening to Belizean fishermen, government officials, and local NGOs to learn the lay of the land – how things worked there. We hired talented local staff. We identified strengths – including a strong ocean conservation ethic inculcated in young children, well-trained government staff, and highly competent NGOs that co-manage natural resources with the government – as well as weaknesses.

Dozens of meetings and workshops held over several years allowed Belizeans to articulate their needs and aspirations with respect to fisheries and the future of their coral reef.

Read more:

Top Places to Stay in Belize

Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents

Belize Real Estate Opportunities

June 17, 2018

Latham: Hard work must be the national symbol of Belize

BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize is tiny for a country — about the land size of Maryland — but it...
Read More
June 17, 2018

7 Ambergris Caye Restaurants Secret Special Request Options

Once you have lived on Ambergris Caye awhile, you get to know which restaurants have off-menu special request options. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Please Belize Me: Ten Reasons to Put Ambergris Caye on Travel List

After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Autograph Collection Hotels Set to Debut in Belize with the Opening of Alaia

Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the...
Read More
June 12, 2018

5 Reasons to Vacation in Belize this Summer

Summer is the busiest season for travel to Europe. That’s where most vacationers are headed during the months of June,...
Read More
June 12, 2018

World Oceans Day celebrated in Belize

This year’s initiative is focused at preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean. Read more:
Read More
June 12, 2018

Private Indulgence In An Island Sanctuary In Belize

Your own private island sanctuary, just hours from Miami, resides in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean on Belize’s Barrier...
Read More
June 10, 2018

Garifuna Collective Represent Belize at WOMEX Celebration

The Garifuna Collective is making a huge comeback at WOMEX, that’s the World’s Music Expo held in Spain. Read more:
Read More
June 9, 2018

Why is a small village in Belize a hot spot for anglers? It’s home to the Everest of fish

I was standing at the front of a 23-foot-long panga in the Bay of Honduras, some 10 miles northeast of...
Read More
1 2 3 19




Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password


Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better