Park Rangers in the Chiquibul National Park, forest Rangers in the Vaca and Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserves, as well as Eco-Guards operating in privately owned forested areas conduct monitoring and surveillance within these vast forest areas and provide critical data to the regulatory agencies including the Belize Forest Department, the National Biodiversity Office, the Belize Defence Force, and other authorities on the state of the environment and extent of incursions and encroachments affecting biodiversity.
Chiquibul National Park Rangers play an essential role in protecting the natural and cultural resources of the Chiquibul Forest. Their duties include patrolling the area, documenting human footprint expansion and identifying environmental impacts, such as wildlife poaching, agriculture encroachments, gold panning, illegal logging, cattle ranching, and other activities that threaten the ecosystems and species. Park Rangers work in partnership with the Belize Forest Department, the Police Department and the Belize Defence Forceat Conservation Posts (CPs) to address the frontline protection goals.
The FCD Rangers are highly committed and dedicated individuals at the frontline, possessing the determination and willpower needed to carry out their duties effectively. They are passionate about preserving the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains and its resources
The FCD Rangers make use of technology: Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART) to enhance their monitoring and patrolling efforts. By mapping out the forest's terrain and documenting the locations of illegal activities, the FCD Rangers can develop targeted strategies to address the most critical environmental threats.
FCD Rangers undergo rigorous training programs to ensure they are well-equipped to face the challenges of their job. This includes both physical and mental training, as well as learning essential skills such as navigation, first aid, and wildlife identification.
The Park Rangers have expanded their reach and influence, both within Belize and across the border in Guatemala. This includes cross exchanges with other Rangers, regional training and , and increasing cross-border cooperation with Guatemalan authorities.
Along the boundaries of the Chiquibul Forest, lies the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala. Therefore, conservation efforts at the Belize-Guatemalan landscape are possible and necessary. By fostering collaborative relationships, the challenges posed by illegal activities within these protected areas can better be addressed.
Chiquibul National Park Rangers serve as the guardians at the frontline of Belize’s natural and cultural treasures, working continuously to protect and preserve the Chiquibul Forest. Despite the numerous challenges they face, these dedicated individuals continue to demonstrate unwavering commitment to their mission. By supporting their efforts, we can help to ensure the long-term survival of the Chiquibul Forest and the priceless resources it contains.