Given that involuntary settlements and restriction of traditional access to resources in legally designated parks and protected areas can result in severe social and economic challenges for local communities, the World Bank has instituted Operational Policy (OP) 4.12 (Involuntary Resettlement) to provide safeguards where the state restricts access to resources “in legally designated parks and protected areas.” While conservation schemes may not always acquire land through eminent domain the declaration of nature reserves, the upgrading of protected area status, or the enforcement of earlier directives limits access to resources in the protected areas and directly affects livelihoods and incomes. These types of conservation projects fall within the purview of OP 4.12 because the new restrictions on resource use affect the livelihoods and well-being of the people who were using the newly restricted area. In these instances, the Bank has instituted a process framework to promote a participatory approach to conservation activities in legally designated parks and protected areas. Encouraging community participation in the design and enforcement of conservation activities under the process framework helps identify acceptable alternatives to unsustainable patterns of resource use and promotes community support for such alternatives. If sustainability requires that local residents stop or reduce their activities, these residents must be confident that they can find alternative sources of food or livelihoods.
Given that the coastal fishing communities in Belize are composed of diverse ethnic and cultural groups, the Plan takes a community-wide approach and extends the spirit of the social safeguard policy to non-indigenous communities as the potential challenges and opportunities they face are similar. Therefore, instead of having an Indigenous Peoples Plan, the instrument is referred to here as the Culturally Appropriate Participation Plan to reflect the broad inclusion of all affected communities.
This Annual Operational Plan (AOP) is a working document which outlines in detail activities that will be undertaken by the project for the fiscal period April 2015 – March 2016. Activities focus on support for the different programme areas and strengthening the institutional capacity of the Fisheries Department (FD), Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), the Forest Department, and Fishermen Association/Cooperatives. The Project Operations Manual (POM) provides information on the management and implementation of the overall MCCAP, including the broad project activities, detailed procurement and financial management procedures and Monitoring & Evaluation Guidelines. The AOP is meant to complement the POM, detailing activities for Year 1 of the Project.