Zip-lining: it was once an exotic get away activity which you could only experience at Jaguar Paw or Cave's Branch among others destinations. But these days, you can zip-line at almost any outdoor event or fair. In fact, that was one of the main attractions at this year's Agriculture and Trade Show. While this is convenient for those who can't make it to Jaguar Paw, it can be detrimental to the environment whether it is set up at a park or in remote forest areas. The Department of Environment sent out a press release today stating that "many outdoor activities such as zip-lining have been taking place in remote areas without Environmental clearance. Such activities can cause a disruption of the natural habitat and can lead to other environmental issues such as displacement of wildlife species." It continues by advising developers that application for development projects inclusive of zip-linning activities must be sent to the DOE for environmental screening and environmental clearance must be given before construction or operations begin. Interestingly they make no mention of zip lines which have now been installed in caves such as in the Dark Knight Jaguar Cave Zipline tour.

Channel 7

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ZIP-LINING IN BELIZE

Over the past few months, the Department of the Environment (DOE) has observed an increase in zip-lining project proposals being undertaken throughout Belize. Whilst the DOE supports projects with activities that boosts the Belizean economy, developers must be made aware of the permitting procedures that are to be followed prior to commencing development.

In recent years, many outdoor activities such as zip-lining have been taking place in remote areas without Environmental Clearance. Such activities can cause a disruption of the natural habitat and can lead to other environmental issues such as displacement of wildlife species.

In this regard, the DOE would like to advise developers that applications for development projects, inclusive of zip-lining activities, must be sent to the DOE for environmental screening, and Environmental Clearance must be obtained prior to commencing any construction and operations in relation to these activities.

It is important that all developers adhere to this message in order to maintain a rich, healthy, and sustainable environment.

For further information, please contact:
Chief Environmental Officer
Department of the Environment, Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development
Market Square, Belmopan
Tel: 822-2548/2819
Fax: 822-2860
Email: envirodept@btl.net or envirodept@ffsd.gov.bz
Website: www.doe.gov.bz