As stakeholders, the actions of the communities have an impact on the park, whether positive or negative. Therefore, STACA often works together with its buffering communities to educate and involve them in the management of the BBNP.
STACA is a community based organization that steadfastly contributes to the conservation and protection of the natural resources of the North Stann Creek and Mullins River watersheds through the effective management of the Billy Barquedier National Park for the benefit of the Stann Creek Valley, Dangriga and Mullins river region.
“To protect and conserve the water resources and biodiversity of the BBNP in order to maintain ecological processes of the protected area and to promote economic development of the adjacent communities.”
Outreach, Education and Advocacy
To achieve effective support and contributions from the buffering communities in the protection of the BBNP, STACA works towards enhancing the public’s understanding of the ecological and economic value of the park and its resources. This involves working with key stakeholder groups, including local schools, village councils, water boards, as well as the general public. These groups are engaged in a variety of ways such as community meetings, capacity building opportunities, research and monitoring activities, school awareness activities. As a result, the people are encouraged to become protectors of their own natural resources.
Ecosystem Protection and Management
The BBNP is home to a variety of important and vulnerable ecosystems and wildlife. These include the Billy Barquedier sub watershed, tropical broadleaf forests, riparian zones, and a variety of wildlife species including the Jaguar, Baird’s tapir, and the Keel Billed Mot Mot. To safeguard the overall environmental integrity of the park for the public and the park’s inhabitants, enforcement strategies make up a large part of STACA’s work. This includes actions such as boundary demarcation, ground patrols and taking legal action when necessary. Research and monitoring activities are also incorporated into STACA’s management framework to ensure that there is sound and accurate data supporting conservation initiatives. Together, these strategies contribute towards the management goal, which is to protect and conserve the ecological functions of the park
Institutional Strengthening and Management
STACA is always working towards building its institutional capacity through resource mobilization strategies, strengthening revenue generation mechanisms and enhancing its human resources’ capacity. In doing so, STACA is constantly building on the BBNP’s potential as a desired eco-tourism site through enhanced marketing tools, products and service development and enhancement of site facilities. These actions promote economic activity within STACA and the parks buffering area, it also encourages safe and sustainable tourism across Belize. Additionally, to strengthen the organization’s capacity and the support towards the BBNP, STACA also works towards building partnerships with a variety of entities in various sectors to collaborate on initiatives important towards the success of all parties involved.
The STACA staff is comprised of 6 persons: 4 Park Rangers, the Park Manager and an Administrative Assistant. The governance of STACA is led by its Board of Directors. STACA is a proud member of APAMO, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations. APAMO is Belize’s leading network of non-governmental conservation organizations that seeks to influence and encourage the Belizean society to safeguard the integrity and diversity of Belize’s protected areas system and to ensure that any use of Belize’s natural resources is sustainable. Visit APAMO’s website for more information on the organization: www.apamobelize.org