Regional Forum to Promote Renewable Energies in Central America's Sugar Industry
Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment

Radisson Fort George Hotel, Belize City - 20 November, 2007

The Energy and Environment Partnership with Central America (EEP) this morning held inauguration ceremonies for the 10th Regional Forum on Renewable Energy.

It is estimated that almost two hundred delegates from throughout Central America and Europe are participating in the Forum which has the objective of promoting renewable energies in the sugar industry and other sectors in the region.

During this morning's official inauguration ceremonies, Minister of State in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Hon. Servulo Baeza, stated that renewable energies are very important for the sustainable development of the Central American countries. Minister Baeza pointed out that the EEP is serving as a powerful instrument to promote initiatives in this area and encouraged the organizers to continue this vital endeavour.

For her part, Ambassador of Finland, Her Excellency Ulla Vaisto explained that her country is supporting the renewable energies in the region, due to their strategic importance in reducing the dependency on imported fossil fuels, the generation of jobs and the reduction of the greenhouse effects.

During the Forum presentations, Dr. Markku Nurmi, Chairman of the Steering Committee of EEP and Director General of Finland's Environment Ministry, explained that EEP has prompted one hundred and twenty-eight (128) projects throughout Central America, six of which having been initiated in Belize. EEP has injected approximately US$6.5 million into projects geared at identifying successful conditions for renewable energy development in Central America.

The projects are primarily for the development of solar and wind energy, bioenergy, including biofuels and hydropower.

This 10th Regional Forum represents a successful way of disseminating the benefits of co-generation, energy efficiency and ethanol production. It is serving as well as a useful process of reassessing national and regional mandates to incorporate the environmental ageda into the energy sector.

The three day international event ends on Thursday of this week with a field visit to the Belize Brewing Company in Ladyville. The Belize Brewing Company has recently successfully incorporated the use of Methane into its energy generation.
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