Roots and Reef
Roots and Reef
made its debut in
December 2009, and focuses on providing environmental information
to Belize communities. Roots and Reef will be published
quarterly and will be distributed through local
businesses. The newsletter will also be available on-line on
this site, and by email. (Contact
us to sign up for the paper.)
EIA/ECP Reviews and Analyses
PCSD routinely reviews and comments on
environmental impact assessments (EIAs) for proposed developments in
southern Belize (not just for the Placencia Peninsula). PCSD
publishes its comments on-line and also contacts other organizations
and individuals who may have an interest in a proposed development.
PCSD also reviews all environmental compliance
plans (ECPs) for approved developments and makes those ECPs
available on-line so that local residents have assess to them and
can report violations.
EIAs and ECPs can be found on the pages for each
project in our Developments
Placencia Village Composting and
PCSD is helping the Placencia Village Council put
together a residential composting program and a composting and
recycling program for hotel, restaurant, grocery stores and
vegetable vendors in Placencia Village. The goal of the
program is to reduce the amount of garbage that is deposited in the
Peninsula dump, reduce litter and the carbon footprint of the
Coalition to Save
Our Natural Heritage
PCSD is a founding member of the Coalition to
Save Our Natural Heritage, a nationwide Belize coalition fighting
against oil drilling and oil exploration in Belize's coastal waters.
Grand Slam Alliance
Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development and the
Alliance Worldwide, PCSD is a member of the
Slam Alliance, an organization dedicated to preservation of fish
habitat, including mangrove, seagrass and coral reef environments.
Protected Status for the Placencia Lagoon
The Placencia Lagoon is the nursery for much of
the marine life found in the Caribbean, including rays, fish,
manatee and dolphins. Unfortunately, development, dredging,
over-fishing, agricultural run-off, shrimp farm effluent and sewage
have degraded the Lagoon, leading to loss of much of its seagrass
beds, water quality degredation and concommitant loss of marine
PCSD and the Vernon Consultancy are spearheading this effort and are
working with other local organizations such as the Placencia Chapter
of the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the Placencia and Seine
Bight Village Councils, the Placencia Tour Guide and Tour Operators
Association and the Placencia Fishing Cooperative to lobby the
government to legislate protected status for the Placencia
Peninsula 20/20 is a collective effort by
individuals and groups on the Placencia Peninsula to define what we
want instead of always being forced to say what we don't want -- to
be proactive instead of reactive.
With funding from the World Wildlife Fund, and with the Placencia
chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association at the helm,
PCSD, the Placencia and Seine Bight Village Councils, the Placencia
Tour Guide and Tour Operators Association and the Placencia Fishing
Cooperative hired two Belize consultants to meet with focus groups,
conduct formal surveys and hold community meetings to define a
shared vision for the Peninsula. Work should be completed in
October 2011, and a document setting out the results of this
initiative should be available in November 2011.
PCSD organizes and conducts mangrove replanting
in the Placencia Lagoon by local school groups.
Beach erosion on the Peninsula has become a major
concern, particularly in Seine Bight and areas north of Seine Bight.
PCSD volunteers are measuring beaches once a month from the
Riversdale/ Plantation area south to the southernmost point of the
Peninsula to record the size of beaches along the Peninsula to
establish a one-year baseline. Monthly monitoring and beach
measurement will continue after the baseline is established to
document erosion and attempt to establish causes of the erosion.
Lagoon Familiarization Tours
PCSD Program Coordinator, Adrian Vernon, conducts
Placencia Lagoon Familiarization Tours for local developers, real
estate agents and government/agency officials to acquaint them with
Lagoon ecology and why the health of Lagoon is so essential to
Placencia Peninsula communities. The tours also help sensitize
individuals to issues regarding mangrove clearance, the importance
of healthy sea grass, water pollution and dredging.
PCSD Office and Staff
PCSD's office in Placencia Village functions as a
resource center for information about environmental issues.
The office also provides assistance to local organizations with
research, water quality monitoring, program organization and
follow-up. Adrian Vernon, PCSD's Program Coordinator, staffs
the office on a part-time basis. Adrian is from Placencia and
has extensive knowledge of Placencia plants and eco-systems.
PCSD most recently assisted the University of Belize with a
Rapid Ecological Assessment
of the Peninsula.