Belize Conservationists Pushing for Carbon Offsets in Race to Save Fragile Rainforest

Posted on April 15, 2024

In a desperate search for financing to secure Belizean land against deforestation, conservationists are pinning their hopes on carbon credits, an emissions reduction incentive that has been criticized for allowing corporations to continue to pollute and not achieving real reductions, Nicholas Kusnetz wrote for Inside Climate News. Elma Kay, managing director of the nonprofit Belize Maya Forest Trust, said she and her partners have to seek funding where they can in order to save what’s left before it’s too late. Their current attention is on a strip of forest that connects the Central American country’s southern jungles to the larger ecosystem. Too much clearance for agriculture would cleave the system in two, breaking apart wildlife populations and speeding the forest’s decline, environmentalists fear. While Belize has managed to keep a relatively large portion of its forest land intact, its deforestation from 2010 to 2020 outpaced that of Central America as a whole, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. In 2021, forests covered less than 56% of the country, down from 70% in 1990.

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