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#423126 - 11/24/11 08:13 AM Sarstoon Temash opening to illegal loggers
Marty Offline

Greg Ch’oc

US Capital Energy has been conducting seismic testing in a national park in the south. Several NGOs have voiced their opposition to the licensed granted to the company for testing in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Recently, testing resumed and the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy, BELPO and the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO) have called for a moratorium on Capital Energy’s activity in the park. The Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) has been monitoring US Capital Energy’s exploits in the area and according to SATIIM’s Executive Director, the impact is already visible and it is also opening paths for illegal Guatemalan loggers.

Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

“Currently US Capital Energy is conducting seismic surveying inside the park and outside the park. We have been monitoring; first to show that they are in compliance and also trying to determine the impact that the seismic trails that they are cutting from the Belize border and Guatemala side and near the Sarstoon River that comes into the park.”

Jose Sanchez

“How concerned are you of what’s happening? Is this going back against on any promises made?”

Greg Ch’oc

“What is extremely of concern to us is the impact that the seismic trails that the company is cutting is having on the park. We have identified that illegal logging by Guatemalans who use the trail to access timber resource in the park have intensified. We have been documenting that. It raises concern because it is extremely difficult terrain and it is extremely expensive to man the border in that area on a 24/7.”

Jose Sanchez

“So there are additional problems being caused by US Capital Energy in the area. Do they have a social responsibility to the effect they are having?”

Greg Ch’oc

“I would like to think they have a responsibility. I would urge the government to make US capital energy to pay for the monitoring of these trails so that we can avoid having the Guatemalan poachers use the trails to access the resources of the park.”

Jose Sanchez

“What different types of species are they extracting from the area?”

Greg Ch’oc

“We identified, rosewood, some mahogany, emory, about three species of timber that are being harvested at this time.”

According to some reports, vegetation has been cleared in Sunday Wood Village and an area in Crique Sarco for seismic testing.

Channel 5

#423225 - 11/25/11 08:14 AM Re: Sarstoon Temash opening to illegal loggers [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
SATIIM says new seismic testing accomodates illegal logging

SATIIM, the Sarstoon Timash Institute for Indiginous management, says that the new seismic testing in the Sarstoon Temash National Park has created ‘international highways’ for illegal loggers and poachers. The environmental organization says that the new seismic lines cut across the park all the way to the Guatemalan border, providing a quick getaway for poachers and loggers. SATIIM says that the Guatemalan poachers have cut smaller trails from the lines to areas deep in the park and that proof of their increased incursions can be seen because remnants such as trunks and pieces of timber from illegal logging have been observed as well as signs of hunting activities. A release late this evening says that on November 15, 2011 SATIIM rangers and Belize Defense Force personnel began a four-day monitoring mission of the STNP. They have observed that the seismic lines created by oil exploration by US capital energy, originate from the banks of the Sarstoon River and cut right across the park leaving no buffer zone. These gangs of illegal loggers are informed of SATIIM patrols via cellular phones then use the seismic lines to reach the river and escape into Guatemala by boat without being apprehended. SATIIM says that it is QUOTE “requesting that seismic testing activities be suspended until it is agreed how these obvious impacts can be mitigated. SATIIM urges the government support a long-term, multi-agency response to address this international border issue. SATIIM alone will not be able to stem the incursions.” END QUOTE. SATIIM is asking the government to require US Capital Energy to cover the costs to monitor and patrol the Seismic lines in the Sarstoon Temash National Park.



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