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Development of an integrated and comprehensive agroforestry policy

Context

In Belize, priority economic sectors, such as agriculture, tourism, fisheries, coastal development, forestry etc., are facing climate-related challenges which pose significant obstacles to sustainable economic and social development.

Due to climate change, the agriculture sector is susceptible to fluctuations in water supply, agricultural production and growing season leading to crop loss and food shortage, and the spread of pests and diseases. Likewise, the forestry sector is beginning experience changes in growth patterns and productivity, habitat loss and decreased defence against pests, diseases and forest fires.

The Government of Belize aims to promote the development of agroforestry in areas where the pressure for agricultural expansion is strongest. This is necessary to maximize the economic output of forest buffer zones. The government also aims to promote sustainable management of private lands by developing the capacity of the public to initiate agroforestry activities. Belize holds great potential for implementing sustainable agroforestry policies and many efforts have been carried out to strengthen capacity in this regard. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the benefits of agroforestry and a need for assistance in developing a National Agroforestry Policy.

Requested CTCN Assistance

To develop an integrated and comprehensive agroforestry policy that will aid in mainstreaming this form of Sustainable Forest Management, which includes:

  • Analysis of gaps, constraints, issues and strengths that exist in the agroforestry sector in Belize 
  • Development of solutions to the challenges encountered
  • Enhancing and mobilization of technical capacity of farmers, farming institutions, NGOs, academia, etc. in agroforestry
  • Stakeholder consultation workshop to gain feedback on past and ongoing efforts in agroforestry and identify the most important needs of farmers
  • Establishment of effective links among farmers, research institutions, academia, NGOs, and development partners to ensure knowledge sharing
  • Site visits to established agroforestry project sites in the country to gain insight on their strengths and weaknesses
  • Review of the National Forest Policy and National Food and Agriculture Policy and other relevant documents and make recommendations for stronger integration of agroforestry
  • Assistance in sourcing adequate funds and in identifying a consultant that can continue where CTCN’s technical assistance ends and develop the agroforestry policy

Expected Results 

  • The weaknesses and strengths in agroforestry will be identified and support building technical capacity of farmers and other institutions
  • Stronger ties will be established among stakeholders and more farmers will realize the benefits of practising agroforestry 
  • A sustainable agroforestry policy will be developed in collaboration with the Government of Belize and all relevant stakeholders

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