In a strategic stride towards bolstering Belize’s marine and coastal environment, the Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future (Belize Fund) recently hosted stakeholder engagement sessions across the country. These sessions brought together representatives from diverse sectors, comprising fishing associations and cooperatives to tourism entities, NGOs, and local community advocates, who share a collective commitment towards ocean conservation and the strengthening of Belize’s blue economy.
Our goal was to spotlight the launch of our 2nd Call for Proposals (CfP) under the Grants Award Program (GAP) 2023 grant cycle which opened 4th August, 2023. Attendees learned of the eligibility criteria, award categories, and the application process. We emphasized the need for project proposals to be aligned with the targeted Thematic Areas of sustainable fisheries, climate resilience, and blue business innovation which contributes to the overarching conservation commitments under Belize’s Blue Bond Loan agreement.
Resonating through these discussions was an unwavering resolve towards a more sustainable future. Dr. Leandra Cho-Ricketts, the Belize Fund’s Executive Director, aptly sums it up: “We can all be stewards of Belize’s invaluable coastal and marine resources. Through the Belize Fund, we’re not only enhancing access to financing but also strengthening Belize’s blue economy and fostering the resilience of our coastal communities.”
What we achieved:
As we navigated each location, we engaged with a total of 87 participants, representing 16 communities and 56 organizations.
Beyond the engagement sessions lies an ambitious roadmap. We journey through our second operational year with a commitment to drive targeted initiatives in outreach and capacity building for greater national impact and working towards a flourishing ocean environment.
On the 7th and 8th of September 2023, we facilitated a two-day workshop on “Proposal Writing for the Grants Award Program”. This tailored technical assistance workshop focused on project proposal development and brought together stakeholders interested in sustainable coastal and marine initiatives to build resilient communities.
Also in the pipeline is a transformative community mentoring program, poised to empower stakeholders and foster lasting impact and innovation in blue businesses.
Sustainable Financing for Marine Conservation
The Belize Fund is a trailblazer in sustainable financing for coastal and marine conservation. We stand determined to support and fund initiatives that will ensure a path forward, positioning Belize as a global leader in the realm of ocean sustainability.
In our breakthrough year, our 1st CfP of the GAP 2022 grant cycle awarded grants amounting to BZD $3.08 million to six (6) non-government organizations:
- WILDTRACKS – helping to support and secure the future of Belize’s iconic manatees.
- University of Belize Environmental Research Institute – assessing the population structure of fished marine species within Belize.
- Fragments of Hope, Ltd. – continuing to actively restore critically endangered coral species, particularly acroporids.
- Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association – improving management of Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve through technological solutions.
- Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development – safeguarding biodiversity and species abundance in Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
- MarAlliance – restoring science, community engagement, and megafauna tourism at Gladden Split Marine Reserve.
In the wake of these engagement sessions and the opening of our 2nd CfP, the Belize Fund invited all eligible entities to submit a Concept Paper for funding consideration by August 25th. Entities whose concept papers were accepted were invited to develop a full proposal and submit it by November 3rd for funding consideration. We want to support projects that promote collaborative actions working toward Belize’s vibrant and resilient blue space. You can find comprehensive information on the application process, guidelines, and eligibility criteria at https://bfsf.bz/how-to-apply/call-for-proposals-opened/. For further inquiries and additional information, please contact the Belize Fund team at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.