Researchers Secure Funding to Scope Socio-ecological Research Project to Monitor Streams in Belize

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Researchers at the University of Worcester have been awarded a scoping grant from a prestigious government science fund.

Dr Rachael Carrie and Dr Alan Dixon, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, hope to launch a research project in Belize to develop socio-ecological monitoring tools for streams.

A scoping grant of £4,400 has been awarded by the Darwin Initiative, a government grants scheme that helps developing countries to conserve biodiversity and reduce poverty through locally based projects

Dr Carrie, a post-doctoral researcher at the University, who has previously worked in Belize, said: “The population of Belize, particularly the poor, is heavily reliant on its ability to sustainably use streams for livelihoods, for sanitation, water and food security. The same streams are of biodiversity value. There is a need for monitoring systems that reflect this value and the ecosystem services streams provide, so they can be sustained into the future”.

Dr Carrie and Dr Dixon, Principal Lecturer in Geography at the University, will travel to Belize later this year to develop a Phase 1 funding application with their local partners, the University of Belize, Ya’axché, a local non-governmental organisation, and rural communities.

“We are delighted to have been awarded this scoping grant from The Darwin Initiative,” Dr Carrie said. “After our trip later this year, we will submit the Phase 1 application and hope ultimately to secure funding which will allow us to deliver a full research project to contribute to understanding, and the management of, the environmental, social, cultural and economic value of streams.”

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