Belize & Mass Audubon Timeline

Xunantunich in Belize © David Shaffer
Xunantunich © David Shaffer
1969 Mass Audubon's International Natural History Travel Program is founded, which contributes to global research and conservation efforts.
1981 British Honduras becomes an independent country and changes its name to Belize. With the country's new status, several national parks are created.
1984 Mass Audubon is asked to provide financial aid to the struggling and all-volunteer Belize Audubon Society, which was charged with managing the country's park system. In November, Mass Audubon made the first of many donations.
1985-present Mass Audubon leads natural history tours to Belize, introducing participants to the marvelous reefs, ruins, tropical forests, and wildlife while supporting the Belizean ecotourism industry.
1988 Mass Audubon forms a nonprofit Belizean organization, Programme for Belize (PfB), with the goal of permanently protecting more than 150,000 acres of tropical forest in northwestern Belize. PfB now protects 260,000 acres.
1996 Programme for Belize participates in one of the first-ever international carbon sequestration projects.
1998 Mass Audubon begins to raise endowment funds for Programme for Belize in order to ensure the long-term protection of its wildlife reserve, the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area.
2003 Mass Audubon begins a partnership with the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) to protect land and marine resources in southern Belize.
2007 Joppa Flats launches Certificate Program in Bird Ecology in Belize to educate naturalist guides and teachers about the fundamentals of ornithology, leadership skills (especially for leading birders from North America), and bird conservation.
2009 Mass Audubon creates the Belize Conservation Fund to support the conservation work in Belize, including the Programme for Belize (PfB) and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE).
2010-present The Belize Conservation Fund assists Programme for Belize (PfB) in renovating and expanding its ecotourism facilities in Belize, both at the La Milpa Lodge and the Hill Bank Lodge.
2013-present Previously undisturbed land on the boundaries of the Programme for Belize properties are sold to farmers, clear cut, and burned, threatening PfB's borders.