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Environment Alum Ki'ila Salas (BS '14) Attending Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

As a Belizean and a LOYNO alumnus, I am pleased to share that I will be attending Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (Y&ES) starting in Fall 2017, where I will pursue a Master’s degree in Forestry. The Forestry program will equip me with the knowledge and tools needed to contribute to my country’s development via the improvement of forest resources policy and management. Since concerns about climate change have expanded, the demand for proper forest management is essential. The Y&ES forestry program offers courses that includes aspects of science, management and policy of forest resources, which will help me to achieve my career goals upon my return to Belize. 

My principal career objective is to contribute to the protection and sustainable management of Belize’s precious natural resources. My area of study would prepare me to participate in designing and implementing sustainable forest management programs, as well as to establish biodiversity conservation programs aimed at protecting and restoring endangered species populations. While Belize has a National Forest Policy, the country has yet to develop a modernized forest legislation and a National Forest Plan. These instruments are sorely needed to chart the strategies for the forest sector’s contribution to national economic development. A much needed strategy, aligned with my area of study, will be to work toward improving and strengthening the management of Belize’s protected natural areas and forest areas that are still rich in biodiversity.