The beginning of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) in Belize dates back to a workshop held in San Pedro in 1989. At this time, it was recognized that an integrated, holistic approach to management of our coastal resources was necessary to ensure their use and protection in the long-term. The participants at this meeting recommended that a CZM Unit be established under the Fisheries Department. This unit would initiate the integrated CZM programme required, taking a multi-sectoral approach that links the effects of land-based activities on the marine environment.

By 1990, the small CZM Unit was functioning and the CZM Technical Committee was established. Although this programme made good progress, it clearly needed expanding and strengthening, but funding was required. In early 1993, the GEF/UNDP CZM Project was launched, providing significant financing that has made integrated CZM in Belize a permanent and well-established national programme.

Significant funding was also received from the European Union for the implemetation process.

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