SATIIM at a Glance
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) is a community based indigenous environmental organization working in the far south of Belize, in a region in the Toledo District that lies between the Sarstoon and Temash Rivers. SATIIM co-manages, with the Belizean Forestry Department, the 41, 898 acre Sarstoon Temash National Park. The national park was declared by government in 1994 on lands traditionally used by the Garifuna and Maya communities who live in the area. What is now SATIIM began in 1997 as the Sarstoon Temash National Park Steering Committee, which was formed after the communities around the park came together to stake a claim in the management of the land and natural resources in and around the park.
SATIIM’s Board of Directors is made up of five elected community representatives, one from each of the buffer zone communities: Barranco, Midway, Sunday Wood, Conejo and Crique Sarco. In addition, representatives from the Q’eqchi Council of Belize, the Toledo Alcaldes Association and the Garifuna National Council have seats on the Board, with representatives chosen and appointed by those organizations. The Forest Department represents the Belizean government on the Board of Directors. The elected Board members serve two year periods and are elected at the General Gatherings, an event held every two years with all interested community members. This general assembly also decides overall policy and the strategic direction of the organization.
Sarstoon Temash National Park
The Sarstoon Temash National Park is the southernmost protected area in Belize. Established in 1994, the park encompasses 41, 898 acres of broadleaf, wetland and mangrove forest. The park encompasses 13 different ecosystems and approximately ten miles of coast along the Amatique Bay in the Gulf of Honduras. The documented fauna of the STNP include 226 species of birds, 24 mammals species including Jaguar, Jaguarundi, Ocelot and Manatee, 22 reptile species including the Morelet’s Crocodile, 42 fish species and 46 species of Lepidoptera (the butterfly and moth family). The park contains plant species and ecosystems found nowhere else in Belize and is said to house some of the best examples of undisturbed red mangrove forest in the region.
SATIIM relies on the generosity of individuals and groups in order to support innovative programs that both conserve biodiversity and promote indigenous communities sustainable development.
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