On Wednesday May 18, two Hispanic men were found illegally logging in the Mayflower Bocawina National Park located off Mile 6 on the Southern Highway in the Stann Creek District. According to a statement from the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO),which coordinated the operation that led to the detention of the two men, illegal logging
“ …is one of the biggest threats to the conservation of Belize’s valuable forests outside but also inside of protected areas. An increased incursion into protected areas occur throughout the country and is contributing significantly to deforestation…..”
On Tuesday afternoon the MBEDG Park Rangers with the support of 2 police from the Hopkins Village substation intercepted and apprehended the 2 male persons while they were cutting down trees within the national park. Several trees were already cut into lumber and they were in the process of cutting another tree. APAMO says it calls on sawmills to support the efforts to stop illegal logging by ensuring that the person they purchase lumber from are genuine loggers and legally authorized to do so. The Mayflower Bocawina National Park consists of 7,107 acres of primarily tropical evergreen broadleaf, lowland and hill forest ecosystems. The Park is co-managed by the local non-profit community organization Mayflower Bocawina Environmental and Development Group, (MBEDG) located in Silk Grass Village.