Deforestation in Belize 1989/1992-1994/1996

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Belize has extensive forest and associated woodland resources characterized primarily by tall, highly diverse broadleaf forests, and secondarily by pine forests, low scrubby woodland areas, and abundant mangroves (King and others, 1986, 1989, 1992; Zisman, 1992; Forest Department, 1993; and LIC, 1994). Among the environmental issues facing Belize are deforestation and the management of forest resources. Thousands of hectares of broadleaf forest have been cleared for agriculture and other purposes (Forest Department, 1993). Nevertheless, it is generally believed that the amount of deforestation that has occurred in Belize is much less than that which has occurred in other regions.

The Ministry of Natural Resources of Belize, and its various components including the Land Information Centre (LIC), Forestry Department, and Lands and Survey Department, recognized the importance of assessing the current distribution of forest cover and determining the extent of deforestation in order to document the magnitude of the problem and to provide quantitative information to assist in managing these valuable natural resources.


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