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#496226 - 09/30/14 10:47 AM Taking A Look At The Injured Coast
Marty Offline
On the topic of Belize's marine life, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is hosting Coastal awareness week. Today the week of activities began with the launch of the State of the Belize Coastal Zone Report. CEO of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, Mr. Vincent Gillett discussed the importance of this report in public awareness and marine resource management.

Vincent Gillett, CEO, CZMAI
"What we want to try to do as part of that management is to inform, educate as many people as possible about many of the various things that are happening in the coastal zone and most importantly we have to collect information data. We have to relate to the communities. We have to get information so that we can use that information and put it in a particular form so that we can use to educate as I said before and give guidance to our departments or ministries as to what is the best way what we should do. Sometimes people simply are not aware of the importance of boating; where to boat, how to boat - where the reef is located and as a consequence they create run into little difficulties. While we are seeing that most of our boat captains for example are very much aware of what is happening there in terms of the location of the reef, but invariably sometimes accidents happen. So it is our responsibility to inform; we create maps; we talk about the critical areas that are on the reef; where the critical areas are where fishing takes place; what are the important sites in terms of the lobster areas where fishermen work and so on; where manatees are; where important reef systems are - all of these things are significant. They are important and it is relevant to our management and to our planned development."

Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development
"The launch of the state of Belize's coastal zone report 2003-2013 represents an astonishing compilation of the research outcomes and the expert views from a wide cross section of 34 Belizean scientist and their international counterparts and chronicles the dynamic state of Belize's coastal zone over the last 10 years."

To end the week they will be hosting a movie night and video competition showcase at the Memorial Park on Friday night at 7.

Channel 7


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#496331 - 10/02/14 10:47 AM Re: Taking A Look At The Injured Coast [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Building Along the Injured Coast

The activities continue for Coastal Awareness Week. It began on Monday with the launch of The State of the Belize Coastal Zone Report. Today the discussion deepened and was centred on the topic of “Sustainable, Planned Coastal Development”. Now in the era of climate change and rising sea levels – any development along the coast is suspect, because the experts say that in a few decades it could be submerged. Courtney Weatherburne found out more from the experts:….

Courtney Weatherburne Reporting

Sea front property is the most highly valued real estate in Belize. But while the view is stunning, the damage and erosion of the coastal lines is not. Erosion of the coastal line has a detrimental effect not only on the survival of marine life, but as well as human life. Private sector stakeholders joined the coastal zone management authority in the discussion about protection and conservation of the coastal zone.

Arturo Vasquez - CEO Port of Belize Limited

"As development continues, the port will always be mindful of it's ongoing development plans and will continue to maintain a responsible approach to development by striking a balance between development and conservation. There is currently a development plan in the making that will certainly encompass significant dredging, coastal improvements as well as in land clearing and filling. The fact that existing port operating continue to have an impact on the costal environment, the port will always take measures to minimise this impact by using regional and international best practices."

Vista Real Estate is also adopting best practices to ensure that their housing activities don't cause harm to the coast.

Presenter

"What we do as our part, everything from small efforts to minimise our carbon footprint such as ensuring efficient use of fuel when travelling with our clients or without. And also ensuring that we recycle all plastics we use, especially bottles of water. In a grander scale, is being how development we encourage could impact the environment and local economies and communities."

While those presentations focused on the broader business perspective, general manager of Eco Friendly Solutions Limited, discussed the impact humans have on the coast and how the products and services they provide will significantly reduce the negative impact.

Luis Garcia - General Manager Eco Friendly Solutions Limited

"One of the things in the solid waste issue is, I been working with rural communities, up in the Guatemala area and even in Belize, it was, how can we convince people to change their practices. We looked at how we protect the rivers, how we decrease deforestation and how can we convince these people to change their lively hoods while they need to live today. And when you tell people don't cut the tree, they go, "How will I feed my family?". So if there are no alternatives, how do we move forward."

According to vice president of Oceana, Janelle Chanona, this discussion is definitely a move in the right direction

Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize

"Certainly I think the first three letters of economy, eco is something that Belize has had a proud history with. We coined eco-tourism, we set the brand for it and that is certainly the only direction to be following. We need to make sure that our ecosystem remain healthy, remain abundant because that is the reason why tourists are coming to Belize, that's the reason why investors come to Belize. And you only have to look at the images they associate with what they are selling to people. They're showing white sandy beaches, clear waters, abundant wild life. They're not showing oil on the beach, they're not showing decimated forest, they're not showing struggling natural assets. So that's certainly why we support these types of conversations because certainly as a Belizean I want to make sure that the quality of life we enjoy today are part of our future.”

5 panelists presented today. Coastal Zone Awareness Week ends on Friday.

Channel 7


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