A toucan sits on a tree branch.


In Belize, the Climate Adaptation and Protected Areas (CAPA) Initiative will address water security concerns, protect biodiversity, improve hydrological functions, stabilize and enhance degraded soil, and support ecosystem services for local communities. 

Located in Central America, Belize is a small country endowed with rich biodiversity and varied ecosystems. It is home to several forests, coral reefs, and endangered marine and terrestrial species. However, the country is experiencing several climate change impacts, such as sea level rise, hurricanes, flooding, droughts, and wildfires. Belize also faces key biodiversity and ecosystem threats, such as deforestation, pollution from agriculture, stoney coral tissue loss disease, and coral bleaching. 

The CAPA Initiative will focus on implementing nature-based solutions (NbS) for adaptation that respond to climate change impacts in the country. It will work with women and men in local communities to design and implement these solutions—with a focus on supporting the participation of women and underrepresented groups, including youth and Indigenous communities, in decision making. The initiative aims to protect biodiversity and increase climate resilience in Belize.

Project Sites in Belize

Marine Protected Areas: Belize’s Southern Barrier Reef Complex lies at the heart of the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest coral reef system in the Western Hemisphere. CAPA Initiative activities will focus on the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve and South Water Caye Marine Reserve. 

The Maya Forest Corridor (MFC): The MFC is a haven and migratory corridor for many of the country’s wildlife species. The wetlands and forests of the MFC also play an important role in national water management.

Did you know?

The 300-km Belize Barrier Reef System is the world’s second largest and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

Key CAPA activities in Belize include

  • planting trees to restore degraded watersheds and act as firebreaks; 
  • improving the health of coral reefs by reducing environmental and social stressors on coastal and marine ecosystems, including treatments for stony coral tissue loss disease, establishing storm brigades, and developing climate-resilient diverse livelihood options for fishing communities; 
  • producing radio dramas focused on driving social and behavioural change toward adopting inclusive supplementary livelihood options that integrate NbS for adaptation;
  • offering climate-smart agriculture training for terrestrial communities living near protected areas, prioritizing the participation of women and youth; and 
  • hosting and supporting peer-to-peer learning and knowledge-sharing events among women and underrepresented groups at the project sites to build capacity in conservation management and NbS activities.