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next page Please tell us where and in what year were you born? What was it like as a child growing up in your hometown? How has the town/district changed since your youth?

Anna Hoare: I was born in the Corozal District and it was interesting growing up in a tight knit community and a large family who provided my needs in more than interesting ways. Growing in the sugar era, I learnt that hard honest work is honourable and there are some things that money cannot buy. Growing up in a farm, I appreciated the power of sharing with my schoolmates the precious fruits of the land. We shared with our neighbors what we had and we did not waste resources. I grew up taking pride in our community , our yards and overall what hard work can provide. How did you personally become involved with the concerns of the Belize Audubon Society (BAS)?

Anna Hoare: I became a member of Belize Audubon Society since I was a student about fifteen years ago. As an ecologist and educator, I found the mission of the organization compatible with my own mission. I believe that we are part of the environment and thus we need to travel lightly on it as we are all responsible for the management or mismanagement of earth. Whether we like it or not, we are an integral part of the environment and we all depend on it for our mere existence; its clean air, water and all the other environmental services that we usually take for granted. I believe that we can conduct activities that are compatible with natures' works and so we speak about striking the balance between nature and people, that is sustainable development or sustainable management of our resources. What do you consider to be the primary challenges for the Belize Audubon Society?

Anna Hoare: I believe that Belize Audubon Society, as a foremost leader in environmental conservation is expected to do so much with so little. As one of the oldest NGOs, we play a crucial role in providing technical assistance to various entities such as the government, communities, schools, agencies and we also have done great pioneering work in the field of protected areas management, environmental education and advocacy. While we do generate limited revenues from some of the protected areas that we manage we are not financially sustainable like all the other NGO's in Belize, thus we obtain most of our funding from grants from both the national and international grant agencies.
Lack of sufficient financial resources is a constraint. In addition, the human resources needs to increase as the workload of our staff keeps increasing as more and more demand are placed on them. What is the Belize Audubon Society doing to educate the youth of the country regarding the challenges facing the concerns of the Belize
Audubon Society?

Anna Hoare: Education is one of the three pillars of the organanization's work. We work with schools at all levels ranging from primary to tertiary institutions. We
deliver and visit hundreds of classrooms each year in all districts and all levels. We also conduct other formal trainings such as capacity building of communities in various areas as well. We also work with school internship programs for schools ranging from Corozal to Punta gOrda. We also do experiential learning experiences as our trained staff does training for
those who need the expertise that we have acquired. How will the current governmental fiscal restraints challenge the Belize Audubon Society?

Anna Hoare: The government provided a subvention to assist in meeting some minimum operational expenses for the management of some of these areas especially as some of the protected areas that we manage do not have any income generating revenues. Since the government is faced with fiscal constraints it has not been able to contribute directly to the organization nonetheless, collaboration continues. Can you tell us a highlight to date of your life as the current Executive Director of the Belize Audubon Society?

Anna Hoare: A highlight is that BAS is forging ahead to be part of the new era in which NGO's are highly acccountable and transparent.BAS is more than an organization caring about the birds and the bees but rather its role is
recognized as an organization that has a crucial role in serving as a watchdog to government agencies that are developing policies, we are helping in the democratizing our communities, we provide a voice to the voiceless as well. Furthemore, we are able to access funding from the international agencies to implement programs that promote sustainable development for the Belizean citizenry. Can you tell us a highlight of your personal life?

Anna Hoare: The highlight of my life is a great family that is comprised of an extremely supportive and loving husband and three children who are the center of my life with my job being an extension of my life. Having an occupation as the Executive Director of the Belize Audubon Society is obviously demanding, both mentally and physical. What do you do to keep in shape? What is your favourite past-time occupation?

Anna Hoare: My favourite pastime is enjoying nature activities with people who dare to care and accept our responsibility in threading lightly on earth and it is our responsibility to leave it better than we found it. I love to read
biographies, nature paraphernalia. What is the greatest outdoor adventure you ever experienced in Belize?

Anna Hoare: My greatest experience was diving in our barrier reef and experiencing a spawning aggregation and observing the gracefulness of a huge turtle. What is your most favourite Belizean food dish? What are your most favorite locally grown fruit and the most favourite vegetable?

Anna Hoare: I love great food so it is hard to tell which is my favourite. I love our fruits such as soursap, watermelon, mangos, etc and vegetable such as okros. Have you ever had the luck to see any of Belize's exotic wildlife such as a jaguar, tapir or the like? Have you ever been bitten by a scorpion, snake or spider?

Anna Hoare: I have seen tapirs, sharks, tamanduas, manatees in the wild but not jaguars! I almost stepped on a fer-de lance once but I missed it and yes, I was once bitten by a scopion which was quite painful. Which of the Maya archaeological sites in Belize have you visited? Which site was the most fascinating for you?

Anna Hoare: I have visited all of the main sites in each district and I think that Caracol and Xunantunich are my favourite as both seem to offer panonomic views that are amazing. What are the top three books we should all read in our lifetime?

Anna Hoare: A third serving of chicken soup for the soul; Tilden's Prinicples of interpretion, Silent Spring Who would be on your list of favourite Belizean artists, writers or musicians? Who would be on your list of favourite non-Belizean artists, writers or musicians? What kind of music do you like to listen to?

Anna Hoare: Pen Cayetano, Gilvano Swasey, Carol Fonseca, Andy Palacio and Paul Nabor. How would you answer the question "What is Belizean Culture?"

Anna Hoare: Is a melting pot of all the ethnicities that we have that is brewed gently. Belize is so ecologically diverse with abundant natural beauty. What do you consider to be the most beautiful spot in all of Belize?

Anna Hoare: The reef. What is your favourite vacation spot outside of Belize?

Anna Hoare: I have none as each country that I have been to is a unique experience. What would you consider to be the greatest asset of Belize? What do you consider the biggest challenge for Belize and Belizeans in the 21st century?

Anna Hoare: The greatest asset is its natural resources. Biggest challenge is that we are unable to find a balance between environment, economy and development. The human capital of Belize is not being prepared to cope with the needs of this era. Poverty, crime, illiteracy, environmental degradation is on the
increase and not on a decline. What would you most want someone reading this interview to remember about what Anna Hoare of the Belize Zoo has to say?

Anna Hoare: We owe it to ourselves and our children to leave a better world than we found it and it is all our responsibilities (not only of environmentalists)
to do so.


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