Eco-Sanctuary Belize

For more than two decades, environmentalists have come to Belize to try out new strategies to protect its pristine rain forests and rich biodiversity from the same economic threats - poverty and rampant economic exploitation - that continue to ravage so much of the Amazon Basin in Brazil and Peru. In this pioneering film, journey deep into this fragile paradise to look at two of the most ambitious - and most endangered - of these cutting-edge experiments: a multi-village cooperative to create a vast Howler Monkey preserve with the goal of protecting its habitat, while providing a thriving Eco-tourism economy; and a manatee sanctuary on the Belizian coast to protect the manatee and the critically endangered Hawksbill turtle, where it was human nature that became the greatest and most unexpected threat. Narrated by NPR's Warren Olney, the film also goes on a magical trek by horseback through the magnificent Slate Creek rainforest preserve on Belize's rugged border with Guatemala. Ten years later, all three projects are models for how fragile ecosystems can be protected anywhere in the world, while enriching the lives of the local people.
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