Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in the Cayo District. FCD is the only non–governmental organization with an assertive management presence in the Chiquibul Forest, representing 7.7% of the national territory. Day to day, the primary work of FCD, with its partners including the Forest Department, Institute of Archaeology, BDF and the Police, has been to maintain the integrity of natural and cultural resources of the Chiquibul Forest.
Biodiversity protection is the vital safeguarding of the variety of life on Earth, encompassing ecosystems, species, and genetic diversity, ensuring the continued balance and resilience of our planet's natural systems.
Biodiversity research involves the systematic study and exploration of the intricate web of life on Earth, aiming to deepen our understanding of species interactions, ecological patterns, and the critical importance of preserving and conserving biodiversity.
Cultural heritage inventory is a comprehensive documentation and assessment process that identifies and catalogues valuable cultural assets, including artifacts, sites, traditions, and practices, preserving and safeguarding them for future generations.
Community outreach refers to the proactive engagement and collaboration with local communities, fostering meaningful connections, providing resources, and implementing initiatives to address specific needs and promote positive social change.
Student services and learning encompass a range of support programs and resources designed to enhance the educational experience, foster personal growth, and facilitate academic success for students.
Public participation involves actively involving individuals and communities in decision-making processes and policy development, ensuring their voices are heard and empowering them to contribute to shaping the outcomes that affect their lives and communities.
Outdoor recreation/expeditions involve organized activities and adventures in natural environments, providing individuals with opportunities to engage in outdoor pursuits, explore new landscapes, and connect with nature while promoting physical activity and personal growth.
From the Chiquibul National Park to the Vaca Forest Reserve, FCD is dedicated to protecting these unique and valuable ecosystems. In this section, we will share some interesting and informative facts about the areas where we work.
The Chiquibul Forest is comprised of three protected areas, namely the Chiquibul National Park, the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and the Caracol Archaeological Reserve.
The Chiquibul National Park is the largest terrestrial protected area in Belize with 285,937 acres.
The Chiquibul National Park harbors the largest cave system in Central America known as the Chiquibul Cave System.
The Chiquibul National Park and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve contains the headwaters for the Belize River Watershed which provides water resources to over 40% of Belize’s population.