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#492155 - 06/11/14 08:26 PM New Standards for Archaeological Reserves & Parks
Marty Offline

Signing of the Health and Safety Standards for Archaeological Reserves and Parks

The Bureau of Standards, with responsibility to engage rel¬evant stakeholders to develop standards and technical regulations, established a Technical Committee (TC) for Tourism Services to develop prioritized standards in Belize’s tourism sector. The process for standards development must be demand driven to address a particular issue with respect to quality, safety, environment, health or any other legitimate objective. Therefore, the Tourism Services TC gave priority to the development of a standard for health and safety of archaeological parks and reserves as part of a project being executed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the National Institute of Culture and History’s (NICH) “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS)”. The project seeks to achieve the integration of rural communities into the tourism sector through improved infrastructure, improved health and safety standards at the archaeological reserves and parks with improved products and services being offered, particularly targeting products and services being offered by residents of communities.

The standards development process for the health and safety of archaeological reserves and parks started in April of 2013 which took approximately 13 months to complete, noting that this timeframe was an excellent achievement as the normal process usually takes no less than 24 months. Having achieved a final document based on consensus from stakeholders, the approval, as a compulsory standard, requires some legal procedures as per the Standards Act Chapter 295, Revised Edition 2000 and its subsidiary regulations for the preparation and declaration of standards with an order being signed by the Minister responsible for standards and standards related matters. This officially declares the standard compulsory which must have a visibility or promotional plan hence a signing ceremony was recently held on June 6th, 2014 at the Xunantunich archaeological site in the Cayo District.


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#495339 - 09/04/14 12:06 PM Re: New Standards for Archaeological Reserves & Parks [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Handing Over of Health and Safety Policy Manual

Tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from new health and safety policies to be undertaken in Belize in an effort to implement the recently created Health and Safety Standards for archaeological sites. The Health and Safety Standards policy is now mandatory after being signed into law by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Investment and Consumer Protection on May 27, 2014 and gazetted on May 31, 2014. The Health and Safety Policy Manual was officially handed over to the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at the Institute of Archaeology’s office in Belmopan.

The policy manual was developed as part of the objectives of the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project, funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize and implemented by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History.

The project intends to achieve three main sets of results at archaeological sites:

Results One: Improve the monitoring systems;

Results Two: Improve health and safety provisions and infrastructure;

Results Three: Enhance the diversification of community based tourism products and services offered

The MTBCAAS Project targets communities adjacent to the following nine archaeological sites:

Xunantunich, Nohoch Che’en (Caves’ Branch), Nim Li Punit, Barton Creek, Altun Ha, Lubaantun, Actun Tunichil Muknal and Lamanai

Both the newly created Health and Safety Standards and the Health and Safety Policy Manual were created to ensure that visitors to our archaeological sites have a safe and enjoyable experience at these sites. The implementation of the newly created standards and policies will also ensure that future infrastructural and maintenance measurements, as well as the services provide the minimum requirements for health and safety at archaeological reserves, and will provide guidance to individuals and enterprises, including community-based and tourism organisations, when visiting archaeological reserves in Belize.

After the handing over of the Health and Safety Policy Manual to the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History, a nationwide sensitization process with Park Rangers, Tour Guides and Tour Operators will then be undertaken to ensure that all stakeholders are fully aware of the new health and safety policies before the upcoming tourist season.

The MTBCAAS Project was launched in March 2013 and is made possible with grant funding of BZ$2.75m from the European Union and the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development Programme II (BRDP) and BZ$1.25 contribution from the Belize Tourism Board and, the National Institute of Culture and History for a total estimated cost of BZ$4 million. It is being implemented over 24 month period and scheduled to be completed in November 2014.


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