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One area where people are attempting to show how the forest can ‘pay for itself’ in a number of different ways is the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA). This area of forest is particularly important, both to Belize and to the world as a whole. It is it supported by the Belize government and local authorities, by international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and by the European Union.
a general map of the RBCMA
The RBMCA is owned and managed by Programme for Belize, a local NGO. It covers about 100,000 hectares, which is nearly 5% of the whole country. Some of the land, about 37,000 hectares, had previously belonged to a private logging company and was bought by the Coca Cola company to be turned into an orange tree plantation. Following local and international pressure by those who wanted the forest to remain, Coca Cola instead donated the land to the project. Another part of the forest was bought and donated by an NGO called World Land Trust (WLT) based in Britain. The money was raised from individuals, from companies such as Tate and Lyle and the Today newspaper and from schoolchildren. It is still supported by WLT.
So, what is Programme for Belize doing in this special forest to earn money from it?
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