OCCASIONAL PAPER PRESERVATION HESITATIONS? A CONTRIBUTION TO BELIZEAN STRATEGIC THINKING

BY Jean H. Cornec and David A. K. Gibson, AUGUST 2012
for the CENTRE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, POLICY ANALYSIS AND RESEARCH

Can and should Belize benefit from developing its natural resources, turning the perception of poor resource management and use of economic proceeds - the resource curse- into the blessings it deserves?

The answer is yes. Alaska, Botswana, Chile and Norway, to cite notable examples, are blessed with oil and gas, diamonds and copper. These States are great models of achievement in successfully coping with the effects of sudden wealth derived from a single resource that became major economic drivers and income generators in their respective economies.

This paper is an effort to stimulate new thinking by Belizeans that challenge conventional ideas and policies which may seem sensible on paper and on maps, but which do not serve their intended purposes. The unmitigated and escalating incidents of deforestation, of forest degradation, agricultural encroachments in protected areas, and illegal exploitation of Belize’s natural resources in the Maya Mountains and adjacent border regions, glaringly illustrates this inadequacy, to cite one critical area of concern.

The authors therefore seek to contribute to creative thinking in a non-polarizing way on the issue of what is termed development for preservation-the protection and sustainable management of Belize’s natural resources in a way that preserves their many bounties for the benefit of future generations of Belizeans.

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