Programme for Belize is a Belizean nonprofit organization, established in 1988, to promote the conservation of the natural heritage of Belize and wise use of its natural resources, centering on the Río Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA), a 260,000-acre chunk of Belize where Programme for Belize demonstrates the practical application of its principles (the land was originally slated for clearing).
The RBCMA represents approximately 4 percent of Belize’s total land area and is home to a rich sample of biodiversity, which includes 392 species of birds, 200 species of trees, 70 species of mammals, 30 species of freshwater fish, and 27 species of conservation concern.
Within the conservation area, the research station is housed in a cluster of small thatch-roof buildings. Programme for Belize is dedicated to scientific research, agricultural experimentation, and the protection of indigenous wildlife and the area’s Maya archaeological locations—all this while creating self-sufficiency through development of ecotourism and sustainable rainforest agriculture such as chicle production. A scientific study continues to determine the best management plan for the reserve and its forests.
Ongoing projects include archaeological research at the La Milpa Maya Site  and other sites on the RBCMA in conjunction with Boston University and the University of Texas; timber and pine savanna research programs aimed at identifying the most optimal approach to sustainable timber extraction on the RBCMA; a carbon sequestration pilot program, the first of seven globally approved projects to start on-the-ground research on how forest conservation could combat global warming; ecological research and monitoring of migratory and resident avifauna, such as the yellow-headed parrot; freshwater management program which looks at the New River Lagoon , its tributaries, and the New River; and the biological connectivity program which looks at the RBCMA and the critical links it forms with other protected areas in northern Belize .
Scientists, research volunteers, donors, and interested travelers are encouraged to contact Programme for Belize (1 Eyre St., Belize City, tel. 501/207-5616 or 501/227-1020, U.S. tel. 617/259-9500, www.pfbelize.org ).