Programme for Belize
Tree planting year
Keep Belize Green
CST (Central Standard Time)
Why this species was chosen
Primary hardwood used for furniture making and is becoming threatened due to over harvesting in some areas of Belize. Programme for Belize is promoting the planting of this species in school yards, communal areas and backyards in all rural areas that buffer the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.
Between 1 - 22 May 2010, 240 Belizean students visited the Rio Bravo Conservation & Management Area (RBCMA), Belize's largest private protected rain forest, for a 2-day/1-overnight visit. The students and their teachers learned first hand about biodiversity and climate change issues by walking forest trails, participating in early morning bird walks and listening to presentations by the Programme for Belize (PfB) staff. Visit www.pfbelize.org for more information.
Seven schools (Bermudian Landing, St. Paul's Bank, Rancho Dolores, and Isabella Bank from the Belize River Valley and August Pine, San Felipe and Trinidad from north western Belize) received a set of Birds of Belize books (4) so that their students can more actively learn and appreciate the birds in their neighborhoods. Also, each of the approximately 240 participants received a commemorative t-shirt highlighting the Green Wave Initiative and the International Day for Biodiversity.
During their visit to Hillbank and La Milpa Field Stations the students learned about the biodiversity of the area and the need to sustainably use biological resources (timber, medicines, food, housing materials, etc.). Also, the students were taken on a tour of the La Milpa Mayan Site. This site is the 3rd largest in Belize (Belize has more than 200 Mayan Sites accessible to tourists)and is protected by Programme for Belize (PfB) staff. The students were taken on this tour because history tells us that the Ancient (Classic) Maya over-used their natural resources. This over-use of resources led to social unrest and eventually the collapse of the Classic Maya. Their ancestors are still in Belize, living a more sustainable way of life.
On 21st May 2010, students from the seven schools planted a Mahogany tree in their school yards. On 22nd May, the students from Bermudian Landing (40 participants)and August Pine Ridge (40 participants) joined Programme for Belize staff in the official tree planting ceremony at Hillbank and La Milpa Field Stations. Belize's national tree, the mahogany tree, was planted. This tree is an important timber tree species and has been over-exploited in most of Belize. The students were encouraged to plant native trees in their schools and their backyards.
At least 18 mahogany trees were planted by students during the Green Wave Initiative 2010. Students and teachers also received extra mahogany trees to take home.