The Mission of the Network is to improve the conservation status of marine turtles in Belize through research, monitoring, protection, political lobbying, and planning, training and public awareness.
- To recuperate and stabilize the marine turtle nesting populations on the coast and cayes of Belize.
- To standardize outreach, conservation and research programs with the aim of unifying criteria and activities for the management of the sea turtles nationwide.
- To have more involvement in decision making at the political level, in management, enforcement and use of marine turtles.
- To include community participation in the conservation of marine turtles.
- The Turtle Network plays a key role in the conservation of marine turtles.
Scope & Function
Due to Belize’s location on the coast of Central America and in the Western Caribbean it is a member of both the Regional Network for the Conservation of Sea Turtles in Central America (RED Centroamericana) and WIDECAST (Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network). The Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network (BSTCN) roles are outlined below.
- Ensure that relevant commitments by the regional sea turtle networks are carried through in country.
- Provide feedback to the regional sea turtle networks on the activities of the BSTCN.
- To be informed of proposed development, tourism activities, or research projects that may affect sea turtles or their habitat, and provide recommendations to the appropriate permitting Department or Ministry.
- Review legislation concerning sea turtles and provide recommendations for amendments to the Ministry of Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD).
- Ensure sound management plans for protected areas include protection of sea turtles by reviewing draft plans.
- Ensure that the activities included in the Belize Sea Turtle Recovery Action Plan (STRAP) are completed and that the STRAP is updated every five years.
- Ensure standardization of outreach programs, conservation, and research and monitoring protocols within Belize.
- To share data gathered on sea turtle research activities with network members.
The Belize Sea Turtle Conservation Network is a group of local and International organizations including government and non-government organizations, and research institutions that represent the regional sea turtle conservation network at the national level.