According to Matura Shepherd, in addition to the B.T.I.A., the Belize Tour Guide Association is also coming out strong against oil drilling and exploration. Shepherd said that the Tour Guide Association’s Chapter in Orange Walk is fuming over a current development near the heart of a sensitive protected area. As we’ve pointed out before, the entire country, except for the Maya Mountains, has been parceled off to private companies for oil concessions. According to Shepherd, an oil company is building a road, dangerously close to the Mayan site of Lamanai.

Audrey Matura Shepherd, V.P., OCEANA Belize

“Even the Belize Tour guides association is coming on board and even they themselves presently are already feeling the effect of oil exploration in their area. Mister Novelo got in touch with us here at OCEANA and informed us that there is a road being pushed through near Lamanai and they never knew that that was going to happen and they are opposing that because they feel as tour guides they have a stake in Belize. And they also want to take the media out there so people can understand what’s going on. And I think what the government needs to understand is that there is a need to initially have a moratorium, so that we can soberly see if we have the mechanism in place and then to craft how the oil industry in Belize will be established and there must be some area that are totally off limits.”

Channel 5