TIDE has a responsibility to protect and manage the natural resources found within its protected areas for the benefit of present and future generations. Many stakeholders in the surrounding communities rely on these resources to generate their livelihoods and their needs must be addressed while protecting the resources. Our goal is for local communities to understand the value of protected areas as a means of safeguarding the resources that they depend upon and to have the capacity to actively participate in sustainable management.
A large part of the resource management carried out by the TIDE rangers is law enforcement. Regular day and night patrols are carried out in all of our protected areas. In the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, the rangers ensure that fishers have valid Managed Access licenses and are following MPA and fishing regulations. They confiscate any gill nets they find and ensure that recreational visitors also respect the regulations. In Payne's Creek National Park and the TIDE Private Protected Lands, rangers are on the lookout for illegal poaching and logging. Along the rivers and throughout the network of mangrove lagoons within Payne's Creek, they remove illegal gillnets and catch illegal fishers.
An important part of the terrestrial rangers' work is controlling man-made wild fires, a major threat to the tropical pine savannah (an endangered ecosystem) in and around Payne's Creek. The rangers attend yearly fire management training to make sure they are up to date with the latest techniques.
Resource management in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve includes Managed Access a fishery management initiative led by the Belize Fisheries Department in conjunction with several partners including TIDE, WCS and EDF. The aim is to keep fishing sustainable by only granting access to traditional fishers so that they can continue to benefit from the fishing industry. Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Glovers Reef Marine Reserve are the two pilot sites for the initiative and initial results are promising.
Monitoring programs run by the science team assess the health of our protected areas and show whether or not our work is having the desired impact in maintaining key species and ecosystems.