In association with Rainforest Concern, the project Maya 2020 (https://www.maya2020.co.uk/) aims to halt all illegal activities in the Chiquibul Forest by 2020 using a range of technology and training methods. With friends from the United Kingdom such as Selvana Conservation, Survival Wisdom and Rainforest Concern, the project was launched in 2016 at the House of Lords in London. Maya 2020 has since centred its support in building the ranger capabilities through technology, training and expert mentorship.
The IWT Conference
Rafael Manzanero CEO of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Belize attended the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Conference held in London on the 11th and 12th of October 2018. The Conference which brought together world leaders, environmentalists, technology companies and protected area managers culminated with a declaration from leaders in taking more specific actions to curb the illegal trade in protected flora and fauna species and their products. The speakers at the forum, from Africa and Asian countries described dramatic loss of wildlife at the hand of poachers, despite on-going efforts to prevent them. While many of the talks where focused on the dramatic increase in the illegal ivory trade, the conference also provided an opportunity for Latin-American leaders to express the challenges they faced with illegal wildlife trade.
The Mexican, Guatemalans and Belizean delegates all signalled their continued commitment to the protection of Scarlet Macaws (Ara macao) at a tri-national level and emphasised that cross border collaboration was key in curbing the illegal trade of these beautiful, iconic birds. The Guatemalan delegates informed the conference that wildlife trade has varied connections to other organized criminal elements throughout the region. For FCD Rangers, these issues are a daily reality and one that they will continue to monitor and tackle in collaboration with the Belizean authorities and their Guatemalan counterparts
With support from the Oak Foundation, Chief Ranger Marco Diaz also visited the UK this October in order to obtain training on ranger development and leadership. He spent a week with the Maya 2020 team at Survival Wisdoms training camp in Cornwall learning a variety of techniques designed to facilitate the overall rangers training capabilities.