The Nature Conservancy in Acquisition of 260,000 Acres of Forestland in Belize

April 22, 2021

Cleary Gottlieb represented The Nature Conservancy (TNC), pro bono and in partnership with more than a dozen organizations, in TNC’s acquisition of approximately 260,000 acres of forestland in Belize, which combined with TNC’s Rio Bravo Conservation Area will contain approximately 520,000 acres, or 9% of Belize’s total land area, securing a vital wildlife corridor in Central America’s dwindling forests.

The acquisition was announced on April 22, 2021.

The acquisition furthers TNC’s worldwide conservation strategy. This new protected area is contiguous with and nearly doubles the size of the adjacent Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area previously protected through efforts led by TNC. The acquired forestland provides a habitat for Belize’s jaguars – Belize is home to the healthiest and largest populations of jaguars (57 individuals recorded in 2019) and other native cats in Central America—and the project area has 400+ species of birds as well as healthy populations of puma, margay and ocelot. Securing protection for this climate and nature-critical ecosystem means preserving habitat for some of the world’s most iconic wildlife species, as well as preserving a significant living carbon reserve that represents a natural solution to climate change.  This project is a premier example of this sort of solution, preserving significant amounts of sequestered carbon, that would otherwise be lost due to deforestation, while offering valuable co-benefits, especially to biodiversity.

For more information, please see the press release here.