Over the past couple of years, rural communities and protected areas across southern Belize have experienced an increased number of run-away agricultural fires and wildfires, which impact and have the potential to destroy farms, forest habitats and livelihoods. Through the capacity-building of local community members, educating local youth and provisioning of equipment, Ya'axche aims to increase awareness, responsiveness and preparedness towards the ever-increasing fire threats facing Belize.
As climate change brings irregular rainfall and drier dry seasons to Belize, escaped fires are becoming more frequent and occurring with more intensity. This increase in fires poses a threat to livelihoods by threatening homes and communities, as well as the incredible biodiversity and natural resources found across the country. Lack of resources has prevented Ya'axche from educating local community leaders and equipping local community members to manage fire properly.
Through community awareness and capacity building, accompanied by an education strategy focused on teaching school-aged children about responsible fire management, Ya'axche hopes to bolster community knowledge and fire management.
By building capacity and providing equipment, fires will be met and put under control by local community members, which in turn will lead to fire-resilient communities.