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#504289 - 05/16/15 06:03 AM PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions
Marty Offline
Today, OCEANA Belize will stage an event called hands across the sand where those opposed to offshore drilling will line up in front of the Sandlighters Promenade and hold hands in solidarity. OCEANA says the effort has renewed vigor after a US News outlet, YAHOO News ran a story earlier this week talking about oil reserves in Belize's marine areas. But the Prime Minister told the media yesterday that all offshore concessions have expired and none will be renewed, at least not right now:..

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"All I can tell you is the official position of the government. There is a moratorium on offshore exploration. In fact, I've been talking to OCEANA, I've met with Ms Chanona. She's actually going to propose some language that could find its way into some sort of a formal document and I am perfectly happy to take that to cabinet. What I will not do, is to say that there is a proscription that forever there can and will be no offshore exploration. But I am prepared to, as I said, put in writing that there is a moratorium and that moratorium will only be lifted if conditions are right."

"You did promise to a referendum, have you, on relating on offshore whether or not we should proceed offshore, you did say that yes sir."

Jules Vasquez
"It was an interview with me at your home."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"I was too comfortable, the least that the government can do is to give these people their referendum. Actually, would be prepared to support the government sponsoring the referendum to be held at an ample time. But why would there be a need for referendum now if the thing is subject to a moratorium and if I am prepared to enter into an agreement that would say that, that moratorium could only be lifted at certain circumstances. If thereafter people still want a referendum, I don't know. Looks like we have to spend a lot of PetroCaribe money in addition to debt by the referendums."

"It's a democracy."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"Well let me that say no to that, but I believe that might be overtaken by events if we manage to sign this agreement."

"In October, all the concessionary leases will have been up. So then..."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"For offshore?"

Reporter "Yes for offshore"

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Well then there will be no more given."

Channel 7

#504463 - 05/22/15 11:32 AM Re: PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions [Re: Marty]
Bear Offline
circulus in probando...

#504523 - 05/24/15 11:37 AM Re: PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions [Re: Bear]
Silverado1 Offline
That is a great thing for the reef, correct?

#504531 - 05/24/15 07:13 PM Re: PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Your question mark says it all Silverado, who know what to believe. Propaganda about Belize being an oil rich territory is circulating the internet. Someone is going to the trouble to spread misinformation to create pressure on Belize to drill. There are enough uninformed people to have this be effective.
David Forest wrote this and knows it to be a lie, he does not write and publishing for free. Someone is paying to spread doubt.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#504646 - 05/28/15 05:56 AM Re: PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Government Backs Off On Offshore Appeal, OCEANA Praises Barrow

In April of 2013, OCEANA Belize and other claimants won a major victory against the Government of Belize in court, when they fought against off-shore oil drilling. In that case, Justice Oswell Legal declared 6 offshore oil drilling contracts illegal. Those contracts were issued by Government between 2005 and 2007.

Well, the Government filed notice of appeal at the Court of Appeal, meaning that they did not intend to let the judgment from Justice Legal stand. That would have been a complex and costly legal battle, but, in a surprising turn, the Government attorneys filed a notice today to say that they are withdrawing the case.

That means that this big win against offshore oil drilling stands, and in a press release from OCEANA’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona, it says, quote,

“We view the decision by the Government of Belize to withdraw its appeal as a demonstration of the…Barrow administration’s commitment to safeguarding the country’s marine resources. Oceana Belize is in the process of proposing language to formalise the moratorium on Production Sharing Agreements for offshore areas which would ensure the protection of our economically important marine environment and outline clear benefits to Belizeans today and for future generations.”

Channel 7

#504675 - 05/29/15 04:35 AM Re: PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

OCEANA/COLA Discusses Off-Shore Oill Drilling Win

Last night, we told you about how the Government of Belize decided to withdraw their Civil Appeal to the victory that OCEANA, COLA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage won in their fight against off shore oil drilling.

In that case, Justice Oswell Legal declared 6 offshore oil drilling contracts illegal. Those contracts were issued by Government between 2005 and 2007. After the trial at that time, the litigators on both sides were convinced that the issue wasn't resolved, and the Government filed suit to appeal the judgement at the Court of Appeal. Well, as we told you, they withdrew that case, which would have been very lengthy and expensive for everyone involved.

Today, we got a chance to speak with the leaders of two of the organizations who gave us a reaction to the decision of the Government to discontinue on this issue:

Janelle Chanona - VP, OCEANA Belize
"We're looking at the withdrawal of the appeal and the indication that the matter of the injunction will be similarly dealt with. As a clear indication that government is trying to demonstrate its commitment towards the magnitude of this issue. That cannot go unnoticed, the Prime Minister was very clear in his position in terms of asserting that a moratorium is in effect. But certainly as a policy organization, we take this as signs of good faith but we continue to work towards a position where we are comfortable with the policy currently in place."

Geovannie Brackett - President, COLA
"I think it's just reaffirms, Justice Legal's first prior decision that it was right. Indeed this is not just a victory for the claimants. OCEANA, COLA and the Coalition to save to natural heritage, but it's a victory for all the supporters who came out in the mock referendum to support us. I think just the other day, the Prime Minister was asked if he will hold his promise of hosting a real referendum, considering the fact that Petrocaribe is rolling. So I think that he was hesitant and we yet to see that promise come to display, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done. I think part of the ruling, I think that affirms what we initially wrote in our very first press release when COLA sent it out in 2010, which stated that these companies are more than just fly by night companies. these are just people in our opinion, who put together a company and then not even proper bidding, in our view, was just attempting to get a whole of a PSA and trying to get it market it to try to get some money."

Janelle Chanona - VP, OCEANA Belize
"If there's a policy in place, that gives some comfort in knowing that there is a law in place, that there are conditions that have to be met, that there are procedures that have to be followed for any changes. As opposed to somebody waking up and having a different feeling that day. Certainly that is why a legal formalized document, a clear position I think is what Belizeans deserve. This is their public resources, this is something that so many of us depend on every day for our livelihoods and as a country we depend on as a key economic driver through tourism and fishing. so at the very least, yes this deserves a clear policy and we've been invited by the PM to submit language to that effect and we're going to get that to him as soon as possible."

There is now only one remain court matter in this case, which involves an injunction.

Channel 7


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