By Ingrid Fernandez
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) donated $4,000.00 worth of technological equipment, tools and software to the University of Belize (UB) last Friday.
The donation, made on UB’s second Annual Geographic Information Sytems (GIS) Day, was made possible through the support of the Republic of China/Taiwan.
The donations came through the project “Community Preparedness and Resilience: Community-Based Approaches to Disaster Preparedness and Climate Change Adaptation in Belize.” Its aim is to build technological capacity of the GIS Center at UB.
Minerva Pinelo, PADF project director in Belize, said: “PADF is committed to supporting UB’s goal of expanding its Geographic Information SystemsCenter to provide advanced GIS Courses through its Natural Resources Management Program”.
PADF donated a platform software program (ArcGIS Online Level two), five Samsung Galaxy tablets, five Garmin GPS units, three fiberglass measuring tapes, three metric fabric diameter tapes and one pruner/ saw package.
Pinelo also added, “We are also happy to provide opportunities for students to engage in field work, which will contribute to our joint efforts in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.”
28 UB students conducted GPS tracking along the coastline of Hopkins Village and Dangriga Town in Southern Belize in October 2015 with the aim to collect data to produce two community risk resources maps.
The data they collected will help inform project activities to mitigate beach erosion, decrease mangrove deforestation and identify potential flood-risk zones.
PADF is a nonprofit organization established by the Organization of the American States (OAS) aiming to protect the environment and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2014, PADF invested over $92 million in development resources and reached more than 15 million people in Latin America and Caribbean countries.