The poorest people and communities in Belize are predominantly rural and their livelihoods depend largely on access to land and natural resources, including marine resources. These resources are being depleted at an unsustainable rate. The Sustainable Natural Resource-Based Livelihoods (SNRL) Project has been designed to ease pressure on these threatened natural resources and provide livelihoods support to inland and marine communities located near eight key protected areas.
SNRL is financed by the Japan Social Development Fund through the World Bank. The Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) is implementing the project, with the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
During the four years of the SNRL project, 25 communities across Belize will develop and implement new sustainable natural resource based livelihood sub-projects. Community workshops will be undertaken in each target community to discuss and develop plans for specific livelihood sub-projects to be supported. Using participatory approaches, alternative livelihoods will be selected and validated by the communities. It is proposed that these new livelihood ventures will be sustainable and continue to flourish long after the SNRL project ends.
A comprehensive training program targeting men, women and youth will be implemented to facilitate the transition to the selected alternative livelihoods to strengthen the resilience of the communities and their livelihoods. As part of this program BEST has partnered with RESTORE Belize to develop and deliver a training module in Monitoring and Evaluation. This module teaches basic M&E skills, to assist communities to measure the progress and performance of their projects, and to help ensure they are a success.
Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology (BEST) is a leading Belizean, private, non-profit, non-governmental organization, chartered in March 1985. It is dedicated to improving and sustaining the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of low income Belizeans. BEST has sixteen years of experience in community development, providing training and technical assistance to low income Belizean entrepreneurs, farmers, women and youths, as well as individuals and organized groups. It has managed several major projects for both development agencies such as UNDP and the European Union as well as the Government of Belize.
For images of the training sessions, click here.