We are pleased to extend an invitation to the tertiary and secondary institutions in Belize to attend this symposium to learn more about the economic, ecologic and cultural benefits of our amazing Belize Barrier Reef as well as the threats affecting our world renowned marine environment.
It’s Reef Week and Oceana BELIZE today organised a Science Symposium for secondary and tertiary level students today at the Bliss. There were a number
of presentations about the reef, coastal zone and marine protection. The main objective was to engage students in the discussion about protecting
marine life and resources. OCEANA’s Marine Scientist, Dr. Isani Chan explained why symposiums matter.
Dr. Isani Chan, Oceana
"Today we have a science symposium in which we have invited several schools to the science symposium for them to have a take based on the presenters we
have put together. Based of the line we have Dr. Ed Boles who will be presenting topic based on the coast line, what are some of the negative effects
we are facing that related to global warming, temperature changes. We have Dr. Rachael Graham that will presenting as well - dealing with sharks. We
know at this present moment we have a huge problem in regards to the extraction of different species of sharks. We do believe that during this week we
are celebrating reef week. We also want the students to participate, get involved in some of these scientific projects that we have. We also, like I
mentioned before, is a programme is the Hol Chan marine reserve. They have a turtle network programme. And we hope that some of the students in their
area could also come onboard and participate on some of these research. I think it's one way for them to gain information and also transcend the
knowledge in regards to science to our open community."
The science symposium is only one of the events lined up for Reef Week; there will be a Reef Fair at the BTL park On Sunday.
We caught up with OCEANA’s VP Chanona at a science symposium this afternoon at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The symposium is one of the many events being organized by the organization to celebrate Reef Week. This year, the event is being held under the theme, “Celebrate our Heritage, Protect our Future, Belief in the Reef” and is a part of the continuous efforts to bring awareness to the importance of the reef, its conservation and protection by public and private sector stakeholders. Today’s event targeted the youth, particularly students from primary to tertiary level institutions, and featured presentations from several N.G.O.s and government departments on where Belize is in terms of the protection of the ocean as well as the issues affecting the environment.
Janelle Chanona, VP, OCEANA Belize
“As a science based organization, all our recommendations in terms of policy and management are based on science. So we sat down and said what are we going to do for reef week and in response to some of the conversations that we’ve been having, is making that connection between what’s happening at sea scientifically and what the community is taking away from it. We don’t want community members to be thinking, oh the environmentalists want I stop eat fish, dehn noh want make I do fishing…no, no, no, no, no. So this is an event designed to inform people just that; the simple basics. If you do this, this happens; if you do that, this happens so that they can make informed decisions as to what actions they do create. So we have people here talking about sharks, talking about coral, talking about goods and services of ecosystems, talking about just management in general and status of where we are n terms of our marine resources. So we are very excited. We invited primary school students, secondary school students and university students and we have an awesome lineup of presenters and I think it is really going to highlight the interdependency and connectivity in that kinda like, touch one touch all. Whatever happens to our environment generally comes right back and affects us. We have the cooperation of the fisheries department both in terms of the science symposium and the reef fair scheduled for Sunday and OCEANA’s Open Day scheduled for Friday in Belmopan. And Duane just generally, yes, everybody…N.G.O. and governmental organizations appreciate the fact if we don’t take care of what’s taking care of us, we are the ones that are going to suffer and suffer very seriously. So yes, everybody’s on the same page; it’s just sometimes we need to take a different talk and have open and frank discussions about how we get there.”
Science Symposium Informs About Danger of OffShore Drilling
As part of the week of activities, Oceana Belize held a Science Symposium at the bliss Institute for Culture and Arts. Vice President of Oceana Belize, Janelle Chanona, spoke with Love News about the Symposium.
According to Chanona, the purpose of the Science Symposium is to help educate the public and the youths about the dangers of Off Shore Oil Drilling in Belize.