|About Environmental Research Institute|
The Environmental Research Institute (ERI), inaugurated in January 2010, was created primarily to address the large gap in local capacity for research and monitoring that exists within Belize. Belize has a wealth of natural resources, including the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, which supports the country's most important industries, including tourism and agriculture. Recognizing this, the work of the ERI is focused on producing results that are directly relevant and applicable to the sustainable management of Belize's natural resources and building local capacity for this. At a finer but equally important scale for Belize's development, the ERI was created as a semi–autonomous department of the University of Belize (UB), with transparent and efficient management of projects at its core, in order to provide a much needed mechanism for research within the University.
The UB, the only national and largest institution of tertiary education in the country is an extremely young university that previously lacked research programs due to financial constraints, lack of a research tradition and culture, as well as the absence of mechanisms for managing targeted research programs and projects. With the inception of the ERI, the University can now more fully address its mission of providing relevant and quality education and research programs that further national development.