In a small graduation ceremony held on 24 March 2021, at the Shipstern Nature Reserve in Sarteneja Village, Corozal District, Hon. Orlando Habet, Minster of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, honoured 29 park rangers graduating as special constables.
The intensive training program was conducted from March 15 to 24, 2021. It was funded by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust and co-designed and facilitated by instructors from the Police Training Academy, the National Biodiversity Office, and the legal counsel within the Ministry.
The training was designed to strengthen the capacity of park rangers across the country in the application of relevant biodiversity legislation (Green Laws) and equip them with knowledge of key concepts and techniques such as evidence collection, chain of custody, procedures on conducting proper investigations and case file preparation. These rangers are now vested with the legal authority to carry out detention and arrests of persons encountered in environmental crimes.
Minister Habet implored the rangers to remain committed to the task of protecting Belize’s national assets for this generation and generations to come. He also affirmed his ministry’s commitment to supporting partners through ongoing and future initiatives geared at improving skills and technologies for undertaking the invaluable conservation work in Belize.
Friends For Conservation Belize stated in a press release that thanks to the National Biodiversity Office, Corozal Sustainable Future Initiative (CSFI) and PACT, one of its Eco-Guards attended and got certification as a Special Constable after a ten day training conducted by the Police Training Academy personnel of the Police Department. Financing for the Eco-Guards participation was made possible by BECOL.