Silk Grass village, STANN CREEK. Thursday, January 19, 2017. The illegal practice of timber extraction from protected areas continues to be a sore point for conservationists.
The latest incident a week ago, on January 10, was detected inside of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park.
Rangers of the National Park situated at mile 6 on the Southern Highway were on special patrol late last Tuesday evening when they came across trees that were felled and lumber already prepared for extraction from the protected areas.
According to a media statement issued by the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO, “this last cache of these illegal operators that was fortunately intercepted consisted of over 90 pieces of prepared lumber and several fallen trees that were not cut up yet.”
The APAMO statement says that illegal logging and illegal timber extraction “is one of the biggest threats to the conservation of Belize’s valuable forests.”
These kinds of illegal activities, say conservationists, contribute significantly to deforestation which in turn impacts negatively on the environment.
APAMO is calling on sawmills, especially those in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts, to support efforts to stop illegal logging by ensuring that lumber they are purchasing is coming from genuine loggers who are legally authorized to do so.
The Mayflower Bocawina National Park is located near Silk Grass village and consists of 7,107 acres of primarily tropical evergreen broad leaf, lowland and hill forest ecosystems.