The Community Baboon Sanctuary (CBS) is a grassroots, community-run conservation initiative located in the Belize River Valley, about 30 miles northwest of Belize City, Belize. It was established in 1985 with the primary goal of protecting the black howler monkey (locally known as “baboons”) population and their natural habitat. The sanctuary covers around 20 square miles of land, consisting of a mixture of private properties and public lands.
The Community Baboon Sanctuary is an excellent example of community-based conservation, where local landowners have agreed to preserve the habitat for howler monkeys by implementing sustainable land management practices. The sanctuary is managed by the Women’s Conservation Group (WCG), a non-profit organization made up of local women. They work closely with the landowners, researchers, and conservationists to ensure the long-term survival of the black howler monkey population.
The Community Baboon Sanctuary has been successful in increasing the population of black howler monkeys in the region. This community-driven approach to conservation has been recognized globally as a model for sustainable wildlife protection and has inspired other similar projects around the world.