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#402048 - 03/09/11 04:07 PM APAMO disappointed about oil exploration
Marty Online   happy

APAMO disappointed about oil exploration in protected areas

Yvette Alonzo

Over the weekend, OCEANA intensified its campaign towards a referendum on the question of whether or not to drill. Seventeen thousand signatures are required and the results of the petition will be known at a later date. But before that, there is another development that is angering the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization. APAMO is expressing disappointment with the Government for giving out sections of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a protected area, as concession to oil companies for oil exploration. APAMO’s Executive Director, Yvette Alonzo, told News Five that an adequate policy that deals with oil exploration and maintenance of the status of protected areas needs to be developed.

Yvette Alonzo, Executive Director, APAMO

“Indicating our disappointment and objection with regards to their information that we had gotten late Thursday with regards to the review of five applications for oil concessions that will include the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, which is managed by Programme for Belize. While we appreciate them providing the information which is a first with regards to the different applications that they have received for that area, we feel that: one, it doesn’t give us enough time to look into these companies since Monday was a holiday and on Tuesday we understand that Cabinet will be making a selection of one of the five companies to be given that concession. So our position is in line with the coalition with regards to calling for a ban on oil exploration offshore and in protected areas. This area includes a protected area and we have not yet gone through the process of the petition to really able to allow people to voice how they feel about oil development within protected areas and offshore. So that was basically the objection that we have and also the fact that there is no policy currently that guides oil development and protected areas. Also the fact that these areas have been designated as protected areas because they are for an important value so they cannot be taken lightly when compared to other areas that are not in protected areas. No characterization has been done of the country that can guide us as to where oil can occur and where it absolutely should not occur. And we feel this is absolutely necessary before we proceed to exploring within protected areas. So those are our main concerns that we have with the information that we received with regards to that area and the proposed selection of a company to explore for oil in the Rio Bravo Management and Conservation Area.”

Channel 5

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#402240 - 03/12/11 08:28 AM Re: APAMO disappointed about oil exploration [Re: Marty]
Rigrat Offline
Not really surprised that they are disappointed. Not really surprised that the government has said 'Drill we will'.

I sent an email many months ago about the 'information' that OCEANA and APAMO had put up on the web that claimed that drilling would do untold damage to the environment, and would release tons of heavy metals into the ocean etc. The information they have put out is demonstrably false to the point of being ridiculous, and I warned them that if they didn't stop disseminating it as fact, then they would lose credibility amongst professionals who actually do know the actual truth, and who were advising the government.
Well the government has done its own research and now knows that these organisations are telling porky pies, and have come down firmly on the side of exploration.

The worry of this is; If the organisations who are supposed to be environmental champions of the waters of Belize cannot be trusted to tell the truth, then the government will very quickly discount every single thing that these organisations have to say. It will then become increasingly difficult to get proper consideration to any environmental management plan that is put forward by independent sources to ensure correct governance when the drilling rigs do turn up. (as they inevitably will)

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#402488 - 03/16/11 05:35 AM Re: APAMO disappointed about oil exploration [Re: Rigrat]
Mike Campbell Offline
Rig if you think environmental considerations had anything to do with the on going position to drill any and everywhere you are simply deluded. It is simply to get money. If they screw up a lot of stuff the GOB does not care. The government benefits from the oil trade but the people do not. Just like Challio which was supposed to solve all our energy problems, the Scarlet Macaws will find another place to live, I believe that was what Musa said when the "environmentalists protested flooding the habitat. You are blinded because you are married to the industry, it is your life.

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