An experiment in community-based conservation, the projects main goal is the protection of the black howler monkey Founded in 1985 by Dr. Robert Horwich, an American primatologist and Fallet Young, a landowner in the village of Bermudian Landing To educate both the local community and visitors about the importance of biodiversity and sustainability.
Initial participation of 12 landowners During its formation period, the CBS was placed under the Belize Audubon Society, which helped guide its development. Since 1994, the CBS has been managed by a management committee composed of an elected member from each of the villages in the sanctuary.
1. Identifying the area for conservation based on Black Howler population 2. Contacting local people to garner interest in howler conservation 3. Formalize a conservation strategy through education to increase villager awareness of the plan and contacting local and area populations 4. Initially developing the sanctuary: property and vegetation mapping, howler censusing, development of tourism plans, initiation of education program, preparation of land management plans, and voluntary pledges from landowners 5. Publicizing the sanctuary through various media including newspaper, magazines, radio, and TV 6. Expanding sanctuary to include additional land owners 7. Formalizing a sustainable infrastructure to include permanent staff as well as programs in education, conservation, research, and locally controlled ecotourism development
Small museum in 1989 that is the focus of education and tourism programs for the community A book on the natural history of the area has been published Extensive trail system has been developed for tourism, education, and research Research programs focused primarily on Howler Monkeys Management training focused on only the executives, who were from the Belize Audubon Society Integrated local people in the pursuit of conservation objectives Promotes an ongoing dialogue about natural resource concerns Local guides receive training and education of the flora and fauna of the area
Little to no onsite cost alleviation Two main areas set aside for potential sustainable use: selective logging and limited hunting. Areas designated for human activity, agriculture, and for villagers farms.
A grant was obtained in 1989 from the Inter-American Foundation to give loans to villagers to remodel their houses to accommodate tourists Built museums, roads, visitor centers, and other buildings used for tourism
All revenue from the bed and breakfasts, visitor centers, and tours go directly to the local participants. Tour fee goes to a pool of funds for the community and guides are paid in percentage of overall tourist income. CBS staff comprised of locals sell goods to tourists and take a percentage of services and sales facilitated for participating villagers. In the CBS in 1989, Hartup (1994) estimated that some US$30,000-40,000 per year had been brought into the area by 3,000 foreign tourist. During 1995-1996, 4,000 recorded foreign tourists visits further increased income entering the village economy.
Land managed with villagers for use as needed, but no training on sustainable use. Buffer zones between large, open expanses of land, rivers, and property boundaries seek to avoid fragmentation of the treetop habitat.
Integrated system where the monkeys and the locals coexist on the same land.
Locally operated bed-and-breakfasts in villagers homes. Creation of service jobs, including room, board, guiding, and transportation as well as jobs created by museums and sanctuaries. Local Guides provide tours on participating landowners properties. The museum also houses a gift shop selling locally- produced crafts and t-shirts.
The GPMP was proposed in 1991 by Community Conservation Consultants who worked in cooperation with Gales Point villagers An attempt to expand and improve upon the CBS experiment, which includes both public and private lands but is still locally managed Held a number of training programs, from the beginning, for its residents to develop leadership and organizational skills as well as business training
In 1992, a Trickle-Up program grant had been obtained for cooperative members. A number of associations were created under the gales point progressive cooperative bed and breakfast association tour operators association farmers association local products association. In the GPMP, training for multiple people has helped lead to the sharing of economic benefits of the ecotourism program in a fair manner.
Increased infrastructure Assessment of tourism effects on the Baboon populations and on the local community, especially those not involved in the CBS Programs for sustainable land management Evaluate the inequitable distribution of wealth in the community and create solutions Work on future financial support and funding for the projects