Sustainable Tourism

How We Protect Belize’s Special Marine Environments

BLACKBIRD CAYE RESORT

Blackbird is an excellent model for sustainable tourism and the protection of similar ecosystems.

Commitment to Sustainability

To protect the ecological integrity of Turneffe Atoll by fostering sustainable management practices. Blackbird Caye Resort, in collaboration with the nonprofit marine conservation organization the Oceanic Society, is implementing the following environmental practices:

New Environmentally Friendly Activities:

  • Nature trail and small environmental education center with interpretive graphics
  • Guided Expedition Kayaking
  • Marine Biologist on-site

Best Practices Operation

BUILDING MATERIAL USE:

  • Use locally available materials, woods for sustainably managed forests, and recycled and non-toxic materials where possible.
  • Construction methods and materials designed to minimize impact on the environment.

LANDSCAPING & EROSION CONTROL:

  • Leave beach strand vegetation, as it is important for shore stabilization.
  • Maintain and replant vegetation as a practical erosion control measure. Plant trees especially deep rooting species such as sea grape and West Indian Almond, for shade, beauty and the stability of the beaches.
  • No dredging on the windward side of the island.
  • Avoid the use of exotic or introduced species for landscaping; instead use indigenous species.
  • Minimize cutting of mangrove including alternative mangrove pruning practices to maintain storm buffers, view and ventilation corridors.

ENERGY CONSERVATION:

  • Systematic program to minimize demand for electricity through use of (CFL and LED) lighting.
  • Four-stroke engines
  • Limit energy use: use energy-saving devices and energy-efficient equipment.
  • Investigate renewable energy resources, in particular solar and wind energy, which are cleaner in the long run.
  • Use natural cross-ventilation and ceiling fans, and try to avoid air-conditioning, which is high energy consumptive and noisy.
  • Switch off refrigerators when they are not needed e.g. in vacant rooms when no perishable items are in them.
  • Promote the habit of saving electricity among guests e.g. stickers on switches to remind guests to switch off lights and equipment when not in use.

SOLID WASTE MINIMIZATION:

  • Minimize waste at the source-reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, whenever possible. Reducing waste volume makes treatment and disposable easier.
  • Avoid styrofoam and other disposable products such as disposable napkins, cutlery or crockery.
  • Use products from recycled materials.

WATER CONSERVATION:

  • Do not leave taps running when cleaning or washing.
  • Catch recycle rainwater or stream water.
  • Provide low-flow toilets and low-flow shower heads.
  • Check for leaky faucets or leaky tap washers regularly to prevent wastage.

CHEMICAL USE:

  • Avoid using herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers; instead use organic alternatives.
  • Use phosphate-free and biodegradable and cleaning products.
  • Use non-chlorine bleaches

The Belize Audubon Society is a non-governmental membership organization dedicated to the sustainable management of our natural resources through leadership and strategic partnerships with stakeholders in order to create a balance between people and the environment.