Over 40% of Belize’s land mass enjoys some form of legal protected areas area status and these diverse natural areas form the basis of Belize’s tourism offerings. This significant portion of the country under sustainable management is a testament to the diversity of plant and animal species and to the energy and enthusiasm of pioneers in Belize conservation.
The conservation movement in Belize can be traced back to the 1970’s with the formation of the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) as a bird watching club and the primary lobby for the Wildlife Protection and National Parks Systems Acts in the early 1980’s. Beginning with the first protected area – The Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Belize now has dozens of national, private and community based national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves with sustainable use management plans and activities in place. Park entrance fees combined with the conservation fee from all visitors support the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) a local environmental funding agency and, international grants to help to maintain these areas.
Belize is a living laboratory were you can meet some of Belize’s wildlife in the “Best Little Zoo in the World,” climb Victoria Peak, canoe on the Macal river, cave-tube down the Sibun River or listen to the roar of the black howler monkey in the forest canopy overhead.