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Focus on Forests (text version)

Balancing the books

The Government of Belize knows how precious its forests and wildlife are and there are a number of conservation areas in the country. But the Government also knows that its people need work, they need food and they need products which can be exported to earn foreign currency. With this Belize can buy goods the country does not produce itself, pay for developments to improve people’s lives and repay its foreign debts.

Food, jobs and foreign exchange could be provided if the forests were cleared for raising cattle or growing crops, either for the local people themselves or for export. The government could also allow many of the trees to be cut down for timber, but this needs to be carefully controlled if the forest is not to be destroyed.

If the forests are to be preserved they must be made to ‘pay their way’.

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