As a small country rich in natural resources, it is important for Belize to use what it has to its maximum potential. Over the last few months several members of the environmental community have been taking part in a Natural Resource Valuation course that will give them the tools necessary to assess and evaluate the worth of our resources. We spoke to the course's instructor, Esther Wolf, as well as program manager, Judene Tingling Linares about the training...
Judene Tingling-Linares - Project Manager
"The training program is a part of a larger project that is being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment, Sustainable Development under the auspices of the capacity development project which is financed by the global environment facility and the United Nation Development Program. So it's geared towards essentially strengthening our environmental impact assessments, through the utilization of various natural resource valuation tools such as cost benefit analysis, spatial analysis, so that it improves the work that is done by the various departments and civil societies on a daily basis."
Ester Wolfs, Consultant/Wolfs Company
"So what we did with did with the course is to build capacity so that they have the knowledge and the experience to be able to value the natural resources of Belize. So this is what the training is all about and the training has been a different parts, so we start with a webinar, then we had homework and then we have now 5 days very intensive training and then after they have to go out in the field and actually do the valuation. So we are building a capacity among the participants and the participants are really a great group, so we've been working with them for the last couple of 3 days and it was really a pleasure. They are very passionate, they are very interactive, we have discussions it's been a lot of fun. The participants that have been off to the training and off to study, so much knowledge and experience that they can whenever there is a question or whenever there's a decision to be made whether this would include tourism or whether this would include protecting of infrastructure projects or whether it is to protective areas or not, they should then be able to inform the decision makers about what the consequence are for the value of the natural resources if they make a certain decision."
The participants are now equipped to advise officials when making important decisions on our natural resources.