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Caye Caulker
Yesterday at 09:46 PM
Have to be accompanied by a licensed tour guide
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Caye Caulker
Yesterday at 06:35 PM
No one knows?
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Weather
Yesterday at 06:00 PM
Present Condition: Clear skies and hot throughout the country, including San Pedro. Fair and warm conditions prevail but a slight increase in moisture is expected tonight. Residents, especially those inland are advised to stay hydrated and avoid outdoor activity as much as possible.

24hr Forecast: Sunny with cloudy spells this afternoon with isolated showers and thunderstorms inland. Cloudy at times tonight with a few showers and isolated thunderstorms over most areas, decreasing tomorrow morning.

Outlook: For Friday afternoon to Saturday midday is for generally fair weather with isolated showers or isolated thunderstorms, except for a few more south Friday night.

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[Linked Image]

Good morning. Photo by Tacogirl

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News
Yesterday at 05:36 PM
For Sunday, September 26 and Sunday, October 3. The Tourism industry and workers will be able to operate fully during these no movement days. For the tourism industry on Ambergris Caye you will be able to take your tourists diving and snorkeling.
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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 04:43 PM
Mayor Gualberto "Wally" Nunez, along with fellow Council members of The San Pedro Town Council’s new administration had unanimously decided that the position of Deputy Mayor would be shared equally upon assuming office. Our First Deputy was Ms. Dianeli Aranda, whom we commend for her dedication during that time.

We take pleasure in announcing Mr. Ernesto Bardalez as the new Deputy Mayor. He carries the Portfolio for Tourism Promotion, Public Utilities & Infrastructure, Public Relations, Communication & Consultation services.

Kindly see the updated Councilors Portfolios here:
https://sanpedrotowncouncil.org/the-council

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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 04:40 PM
Call us on these hotline numbers for COVID-19 results, vaccine and other health concerns in the Belize District.

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Travel
Yesterday at 02:06 PM
Sad to see the BTIA take such a divisive position - "No Jab, No Job". You should convince people, not threaten them. Include, not exclude.
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Weather
Yesterday at 02:05 PM
On Ambergris Caye this morning we have a 11 mph wind from the Southeast and a calm sea state around our barrier reef. Today's expected high temperature is 89f.
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Weather
Yesterday at 01:56 PM
There is definitely some mid-level air moving slowly up from the south. It is getting under the high level from the north and causing the north winds to produce a lot of fast moving cloud in the Caribbean.

Looks as if today will again, be mainly sunshine. There are a few clouds around and more will develop over the morning, but unlikely any rain, although could be a few thunderstorms this afternoon.

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Temperatures in Belmopan : ( Coast usually cooler, hills even cooler )
Last Night 25°C 77°F Yesterday max. 33°C 91°F Yesterday Rain 0 mm (0") Over Night Rain 0 mm (0")
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Weather
Yesterday at 12:06 PM
Nothing much has changed with 95L in the last day.

- Track and intensity remain uncertain
- Presently located about 2,000 miles East of Trinidad moving westward and expected to continue westward to west-northwestward over the next several days.

Showers and thunderstorms have changed little in organization in association with an area of low pressure located more than 500 miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. In addition, earlier satellite derived winds indicated the system also lacks a well-defined center. However, environmental conditions are still expected to remain conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form during the next couple of days. This system is expected to move westward to west-northwestward across the tropical Atlantic during the next several days.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...high...80 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

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[Linked Image]

For more information, check the daily Tropical Weather Outlook, click here
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Weather
Yesterday at 12:05 PM

Belize Weather Forecast: September 16, 2021


General Situation:
Ambergris Caye: Conditions this morning by Elbert just before or after this post!
Belize NMS: Present Condition: Mostly clear this morning throughout the country, a few clouds in the central region. Mostly clear skies in San Pedro. Light east-southeast airflow prevails.
Advisories: None.
24-hour forecast: Sunny with cloudy spells today with isolated showers; and isolated afternoon thunderstorms inland. Cloudy tonight with a few showers over most areas along with isolated thunderstorms.
Winds: E-SE, 5-15 kts
Sea State: Light Chop
Waves: 2-4 ft
Sea Surface Temperature (°f): 86
Outlook: (Fri & Fri night) Mainly fair on Friday with only isolated showers; then a few showers and isolated thunderstorms affect the south friday Friday.
Sargassum Forecast from September 14 to September 22: Latest satellite imagery suggest that Sargassum concentration offshore has decreased significantly. However, there is the chance that a few small mats could still drift onshore during the next few days San Pedro has a low probability and a minimal impact.
Tropical Weather Outlook: A broad area of low pressure located a few hundred miles northeast of the central Bahamas has a high chance of development during the next couple of days A low pressure area located a few hundred miles Southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression during the next couple of days. . Click for more of the tropical weather outlook...

Marine Conditions:

The Caribbean Sea

Recent satellite derived wind data show moderate to fresh trades over the ABC Islands, near the entrance of the Gulf of Venezuela, and in the Gulf of Honduras, with mainly gentle to moderate winds elsewhere. Seas are 3-5 ft where the strongest winds are blowing with 1-3 ft elsewhere.

Showers and thunderstorms continue to flare-up over the Greater Antilles due to a combination of a tropical wave moving westward across the basin and an upper-level low currently located just S of eastern Cuba. A diffluent pattern aloft on the W side of the upper-level low is also helping to induce convection over most of Cuba and the NW Caribbean.

For the forecast, gentle to moderate winds will increase to moderate to fresh today, with strong winds pulsing during the overnights into the weekend offshore Colombia and in the Gulf of Honduras.


  High Low
Coastal 32° C
89° F
28° C
82° F
Inland 34° C
94° F
24° C
74° F
Hills 28° C
82° F
20° C
68° F
TIDES:
High: 5:34 AM Low: 1:12 PM
High: 8:17 PM Low: 12:12 AM (Fri)
Sunrise: 5:40 AM Moonrise: 3:07 PM
Sunset: 5:53 PM Moonset: 2:30 AM (Fri)




Four Day Weather Outlook:


Winds:


250 Km Radar Picture
(Time Label on picture is GMT. Local time is GMT-6 Hours)


For more information, check the Daily Tropical Weather Outlook.

Climate Prediction Center’s Central America Hazards Outlook

Belize National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO)

Ambergris Caye:
https://www.wunderground.com/weather/bz/san-pedro

Philip S W Goldson International Airport:
https://www.wunderground.com/weather/bz/belize/MZBZ?cm_ven=localwx_today

Belmopan:
https://www.wunderground.com/weather/bz/belmopan/17.26%2C-88.78

Caye Caulker:
https://www.wunderground.com/weather/bz/caye-caulker-village

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Food & Recipes
Yesterday at 11:52 AM
Cheers to a new rum. In celebration of Belize's 40th anniversary, Travellers has their new aged rum out: 1981 Limited Edition Rum. Aged for over 15 years in casks.

"Introducing the '1981' limited edition, aged rum by Travellers Liquors.

Aged for 15 years in ex-Bourbon casks then rested in ex-Sherry casks for 6 months."



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Nature
Yesterday at 11:11 AM

Birds of Belize
Rich Cimino shows some of the many birds typically seen during one of his birding tours to Belize and Guatemala.
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Cayo
Yesterday at 11:10 AM
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Travel
Yesterday at 11:07 AM
Stewart Krohn, President of BTIA statement on the rise in Covid19 and the CDC latest dedignation.

n case you missed it, Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) President, Stewart Krohn, spoke the truth yesterday, and very clearly.

First, on the USA's travel advisory to Belize:

""If you look at the statistics, for example, the United States has had over 40 million COVID cases, they have had over 653,000 deaths. Yesterday, they had 166,000 new cases and 1,895 deaths. If you compare those to Belize even on a per capita basis, if the CDC was ranking its own country the same way it's ranking other countries, the USA and virtually any state in the US would be in a do not visit category 4. so it's a little bit ironic, it's a little bit like the pot calling the kettle black. They are far worse off and have handled COVID 19 far worse than Belize or almost any other country on the planet." Bam see deh!

And on the anti-vaxers and vaccination hesitancy:

"We have got to get this thing under control. So that's why we say don't hesitate, vaccinate. This is the most patriotic thing you can do for your country, for the country's economy, for the people who are going to lose their jobs if there's no tourism for the winter season. It's that simple...

...you might want to say it's your body you make your choice; that's not the choice because it's not just your body. When you are unvaccinated, you are running a far greater risk of overwhelming the hospital system so because you don't get your vaccination, you take a hospital bed, I get a heart attack, I get shot, I suddenly can't get care; so to not get vaccinated you're not only hurting yourself, you're hurting everyone around you. You're making it easier for the virus to spread to children who are unvaccinated. You're also making it far more easier for new variants to spread and popup; new variants believe it or not can be more harmful than the present Delta variant that we are struggling against. So the whole conversation about vaccination has gotten twisted, this is not about personal choice, this is about saving hundreds if not thousands of Belizean lives, and the Belizean economy. It's too serious for people to be selfish."

Pt 1: BTIA President Says No Jab, No Job

But he added that getting vaccinated is a must and, by his reckoning, the decision not to do so is an inherently selfish one. He noted that while others might feel like it’s a choice that only affects them, the truth is that it affects the wider public, the health sector, the tourism industry, and the overall economy. Here’s how he put it:



Pt 2: BTIA President Comments On CDC's Ranking

But regardless of the unfair ranking, it seems that the tourists are still mindful of it. Krohn told us today that there have been cancellations, and if the country’s COVID numbers don’t start going down, it could be a huge blow for the industry.

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Caye Caulker
Yesterday at 11:04 AM
Wednesday the Caye Caulker Village Council Personnel went over to North Caye Caulker to fumigate to alleviate the mosquitoes. They will be back Thursday conducting a second fumigation.

Abate was also put down in the Bahia Area and routine spraying was done this morning in the Village. We would like to thank our Caye Caulker Village Council Personnel for their awesome efforts.

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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 11:00 AM
MOSQUITO FOGGING:

THE SAN PEDRO TOWN COUNCIL WOULD LIKE TO INFORM THE PUBLIC THAT THERE WILL BE STREET FOGGING FOR MOSQUITO CONTROL, STARTING TODAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2021 4:00PM - 8:00PM

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16TH, 2021 4:00AM - 6:00AM

ALL AREAS FROM SOUTH AMBERGRIS CAVE TO NORTH AMBERGRIS CAVE WILL BE COVERED
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Ambergris Caye
Yesterday at 10:58 AM
[Linked Image]

Large groups of island residents have been lining up to get their vaccine against COVID-19. Long lines have been observed stretching south and north of the Lions Den on Barrier Reef Drive as hundreds of islanders seek to get vaccinated. For many, it is their first dose of the injection, while others are showing up for their second vaccination. There were reports that the vaccine was going to be made available, but for a fee. The health department denied such allegation, and assured the public that all vaccines are free of cost.

According to data from health personnel on the island, as of Wednesday, September 15th, 10,000+ persons have received their first dose and 5,000+ are fully vaccinated. The population of San Pedro Town, which is around 20,000, although it fluctuates with people moving back to the mainland, is nearing the 10,000 mark for fully vaccinated people. This will account for about 50% of the island population being inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine. A couple of people standing in line to get their first dose shared that they were initially hesitant, but after much research and losing close friends sick with the disease, they opted for the protection of the injection. “This is real, and if the vaccine will protect us, then that’s the only option we have,” said one resident. Others getting their second jab took the opportunity to encourage anyone still doubting the vaccine. According to one of them, full vaccination is a relief knowing you have a better chance to survive the virus.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
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News
Yesterday at 10:56 AM
A group of commuters traveling by Water Taxi from San Pedro to Belize City was shaken up today after they spotted a body floating in the water.

The sighting which took place a couple of miles before the approach to the city seems to be of a deceased male set adrift.

We are told that the water taxi turned to make an inspection and reported the sighting to the Coast Guard which is expected to retrieve it.

No word yet on the identity of the deceased.

Channel 7
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Belize District
Yesterday at 10:55 AM
One place where the virus is running wild is Belize City - as you see on the nightly COVID numbers. Tonight it's 60 new cases in the city.

This evening Dr. Diaz told us that the Covid outbreak in the country's largest city is due to population density and the proximity of houses in many of the City's most virus prone areas.

Dr. Melissa Diaz Musa
"Belize District is the most populated district. It's very dense compared to the smaller districts where a lot of the dwellings are very far apart. In Belize City the density is much more when you look at the population. many big businesses are in Belize City, the commerce, the big banks etc., so you have a lot of people traveling into the city for work, traveling to other places after work. We have the big businesses that would have 300-400 persons working together. So you know we have always tried to keep the spread out of Belize City, because we know what the situation could potentially be and unfortunately Delta has infiltrated Belize City at this point. we can definitely control it, but it would take the entire community, it would take collaboration with the ministry of health, ministry of home affairs, with the individual persons, with the businesses, everybody will have to work together and do the same thing and have the same goal in order for us to have effectively control the spread."

Channel 5
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News
Yesterday at 10:51 AM

It is accomplished, Patrick Faber will return as Leader of the Opposition. Reports say he could be sworn in as early as tomorrow.

Faber went to Belmopan today to hand deliver this letter to Governor General Froyla Tzalam. It bears the signature of three UDP Representatives, Faber himself, Hugo Patt and Tracy Panton. They comprise a majority of the opposition bench, and they tell the GG that Patrick Faber has their support as Leader of the Opposition while the current Leader, Moses Shyne Barrow quote, "does not enjoy the support required to remain in office we crave your urgent intervention to remove Barrow from the office he now holds and to replace him with Patrick Faber..."

So, it's game over for Shyne Barrow and he confirmed it in what he called a "farewell" press release 90 minutes ago, saying, quote, "I thank the Opposition Members who elected me to serve as Leader of the Opposition. I accept with grace that the majority of the Elected Opposition Members of the House have now elected a new Leader of the Opposition. I will discharge my duties as Leader of the Opposition faithfully until my successor is sworn in." End quote.

And that successor will take the oath, in time to give that all important Independence Day Address next Tuesday, it appears.

And that seems to have been the catalyst for Faber to make peace with bitter adversary John Saldivar and his Caucus For Change - which orchestrated a botched recall against him just weeks ago.

Reports say they have agreed to a unity pact which leads into a National Party Council meeting on Saturday. That meeting - Faber's first NPC since the election - has been called as a part of the party's internal reconciliation process.

The man now on the outside is Mesop Rep. Shyne Barrow - who after a brief but high profile stint as opposition leader - will now likely find himself at the far end of the opposition bench, alongside his aunt, Denise "Sister B" Barrow. In a US tour, Shyne Barrow presented himself publicly as "Leader of the House" and "Shadow Prime Minister." He would have capped this off with an Independence Day Address, but it now appears that singular honour will go to Faber.

The other big loser looks to be Khalid Belisle, who Faber was backing to replace Saldivar in Belmopan. He is now also likely to get pushed aside, as Saldivar is expected to have Faber's support to be re-installed as Belmopan standard-bearer - after a disastrous out-turn in the 2020 election.

Channel 7


Shyne Barrow says adios to the Office of the Leader of the Opposition.

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION FAREWELL

It has been my distinct privilege and honor to serve my Country and Party as Leader of the Opposition.

I thank my UDP Opposition Parliamentary Caucus and my Shadow Cabinet for their tremendous support and dedication to advocating on behalf of the Belizean People during my time as Leader of the Opposition.

I thank the Elected Opposition Members of the House who elected me to serve as Leader of the Opposition.

I accept with grace that the majority of the Elected Opposition Members of the House have now elected a new Leader of the Opposition.

I will discharge my duties as Leader of the Opposition faithfully until my successor is sworn in.

Thereafter I will continue to serve my Mesopotamia Constituency and perform my Parliamentary duties earnestly to bring about better policies and quality of living for the Belizean People.

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Nature
Yesterday at 10:49 AM

Still Teaching For Gold in Chiquibul

The expedition into the Chiquibul continues as we re-cap yet another part of Cherisse Halsall's fact-finding mission.

This time we'll delve into some of the fundamental questions about the operations of the Mining company working in the Maya mountains. Here's more:

Last night we gave you a glimpse of our into the Chiquibul, taking you all the way up to our final destination The Boiton Minerals Ltd. mining camp in the Maya Mountains has been in the headlines - but not on camera - and when we saw it for the first time - it was striking: a stripped area in the middle of a vast forest.

Rafael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD
"This is really the Chiquibul national park and originally the development of this area under that category of a protected area which makes it really a high category of as a national park, it was really because of the water resources."

And FCD believes protecting that water resource is of paramount concern - and that means playing strictly by the rules:

Rafael Manzanero
"I think the major concern here has been if the company is actually engaging and following up the environmental compliance plan and that is what pretty much we don't really fully understand because we are not really purview to all the discussions and kind of all the regulations that were attached to this, so for us it's really more of a searching for information that hopefully we'll be able to understand more over the next couple of days. You know given that as far as we know the government is only now putting more interest in terms of what else is transpiring here."

That's the crux of the matter and the worry is that a journey like our fact-finding one isn't something that the average public officer is able to make twice a month.

Elma Kay - Forest Biologist, FCD
"In this particular instance you are in such a remote area. All of us who came on this trip and you know I'm used to being in the forest, but this trip I mean, as we would say in creole you take a liking, right, because you are on this tractor for this long, that's how the workmen for the company you know for the operations that your about to see they also travel by tractor because this is the only way and it's not an easy ride, so you have to ask yourselves, what is it that when we made this decision to grant this license and have this development. What were we thinking in terms of monitoring."

And without monitoring in this important watershed whose to say how these activities are affecting the streams and tributaries that eventually lead to the Belize river?

Ed Boles - Aquatic Ecologist
"In generality it's probably a significant sediment load, how far down it's already traveled and where it' being deposited are questions that we would want to ask, the Belize river is a very important river nationally, everybody drinks from the Belize river including people from the north and the south, if you drink Coca Cola's and Belkin's and bottled water your drinking Belize river water."

It's a concern for Senator for NGO's Osmany Silas. He was on the expedition and told me that ultimately he comes away from the trip with more questions than answers.

Osmany Salas - Senator for Civil Society
"A key questions is from when has this company and its principals, from when has this company been extracting gold from their operation, from when, because for many years all they were suppose to have was a prospecting licence or an exploration licence, have they been extracting gold from those times, and from when they got their first license to operate and to extract, and how much has been taken out, what value, what monetary value it has."

In one press release, the company says, quote, "it has for years expended more money than it has earned," and in another it adds "In the process of……creating employment and generating Foreign Exchange, the use of our Natural Resources will be temporarily impacted…impacted areas will be rehabilitated by the placement of topsoil and re-vegetation, among other remedial work.

But, the scientists on this trip aren't so sure the impacts are temporary.

Elma Kay
"Mining takes away all the forest cover and all of that so i that area there is going to be no wildlife. I think for me the trip raises more questions that it gives answers, and my main questions surround the issue of overall, when we have developments in this country, what is the decision making process that we have in Belize to actually give permission."

The Boiton Mining Limited press release also claims that its activities serve as a deterrent to illegal Guatemalan gold panners saying quote:

"The illegal gold panning being done by the Guatemalans illegally crossing our border has done considerable damage as they slash and burn to survive and also use mercury which is dangerous. Boition Minerals Ltd. uses no chemicals, and BML's presence decreases Guatemalan activity."

And tonight in another Press release, this one from The Association of Protected Area Management Organizations, APAMO. They call for G.O.B to halt gold mining in the Chiquibul National Park saying quote:

" As a country very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and in serious economic crisis, Belize depends on its forests to support our climate change adaptation and migration strategies. Therefore we cannot afford for destructive mining operations, wholly within our control to bring further loss of forests resources."

Into the Wild, Again

Last week on the news we told you about a mining threat that had both citizens and environmentalists up in arms.

But while that operation is still purely exploratory, another mining operation is well underway.

This time the company in question is Boiton Minerals Ltd. a Belizean-owned company focused on gold mining in the Maya Mountains.

Cherisse Halsall made the long journey through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve this weekend to get to the company's camp, and tonight we bring you the first part of her story.

I'm here in the Chiquibul forest at the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Just 4.5km from Boiton Minerals Ltd.'s mining camp. That's where we're headed, and it's why we've come to find out how this company's activities, often unmonitored in this extremely remote area of Belize, will affect the headwaters of the river that bears the country's name.

But that was the mid-way point in the journey. We certainly didn't start there instead we kicked off our trip in Georgeville where we boarded three large pickup trucks to head into Mountain Pine Ridge.

Once there, we sat through a brief of the real journey upon which we were about to embark.

And our jungle limousine was this thing the Jumping Viper a name that has a particular resonance for anyone who's taken one of its 5 to 8 hour rides.

And while it's a rough ride through the Chiquibul forest.

It's also positively breathtaking and a fitting antidote for the stresses of civilized life.

And while all the humans on the journey got a good jostling

That wasn't the case for this little girl, she's called Ceibo or Millonario, depending on which station she's journeyed to. She followed the Viper all throughout the all day 5 hour journey. Nothing out of the ordinary for a dog native to Chiquibul.

And when we'd had enough of the viper, we got down for a hike, a steep climb down the hill.

To what's called the natural Arch one of the most astounding sites in the entire country.

And back at the top of the hill you couldn't escape the hum of the cicadas, a jungle drone that surrounds the traveler, simply impossible to miss.

And while the story of the journey could go on

Our final destination was here, Boiton Minerals Ltd. Mining Camp a homestead set up to support a mining operation smack dab in the middle of a national park.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you why it is a great concern for the Friends For Conservation and Development which co-manages the park."

We'll bring you Part 2 of the story tomorrow.

Back to The Chiquibul Hills

Last week we took you into Chiquibul National Park to show you the operations that Boition Minerals Ltd. has been carrying out at the top of the Maya mountains.

And in that first part of the journey we heard the questions and concerns posed by the environmentalists who went there with our team. But, tonight, as we hear even more from them, we'll also turn the tables and talk to Boiton's geologist, Jean Cornec.

He spoke via Zoom to Cherisse Halsall, and tonight she brings you the conclusion of this story.

Tonight, we're back in the Chiquibul, back to the makeshift roads, and the very bumpy ride, and that's because while we've heard the alarm bells raised against Boiton Minerals Ltd. we've yet to hear from the company itself.

But that changed this morning when I spoke, via Zoom , with Geologist Jean Cornec, Boiton's project geologist who the company directed to address the host of environmental concerns.

Jean Cornec, Project Geologist, Boiton Minerals Ltd.
"We have a lot of gold in the creek and it had to be coming from somewhere in the watershed and we were lucky enough to locate some of the gold sources in 2016, 2017, 2018 and then we applied for a production license."

Cornec says that was a lengthy process, one that no one objected to when it was gazetted. And after the required consultation period, Boiton was granted its production license in early 2019.

But Cornec's words may do little to assuage the concerns of Senator for NGO's Osmany Salas. During the trip he stressed that a mining license granted for use in a national park was very strange indeed.

Osmany Salas
"According to the national protected area system act extraction of resources should not take place in a national park, of course, the minister has discretionary powers, and that is the opening, that's the loophole, ha's he window ha probably was used here."

"We should not be allowed, it is very bad practice to allow an operation such as this type of mining to be self-policing, or policing themselves, for obvious reasons that doesn't make any sense. So, there's a lot that needs to be improved here."

But Cornec disagrees; he says there's no law against mining in a national park.

Jean Cornec, Project Geologist,
"First of all exploration activity in the area has been taking place for probably 70 years in and out since 1955. There is no corruption involved because the legislation in Belize allows for mining, legislation in Belize allows for mining and exploration to take place including in a national park, it's like oil exploration. So there is nothing illegal for the government to provide, to give licenses in the area which is under national park status."

But legal or not, there are major concerns about the impact that Boiton's activities are having on the area's wildlife.

Elma Kay
"You're looking at what we call cumulative impacts, so it's not just the impacts of the mining operation but you have to look at the picture holistically and holistically our wildlife is already under assault by the trans-boundary issues that we're facing, so yes you're destroying a localized area with the mining because obviously wildlife will not be able to persist there it is destroyed."

Jean Cornec, Project geologist, Boiton Minerals Ltd.
"I must admit that there are a lot of problems with biodiversity but we are not the culprit. There are as many as maybe 300 Guatemalans roaming around, and panning for gold. As far as 12 kilometers from the border they have burned thousands of acres, demolished what by my calculations may be a combined 20 kilometers of rivers, they've stolen a lot of gold of course and killed all the wildlife, I mean those guys carry guns, they hunt. We do not carry guns, we do not hunt."

And Guatemalan activity is something that Cornec continued to harp on during our interview with the gist of his opinion being that those activities are much more widespread and more invasive than that of Boiton's, and that if nothing else Boiton's permanent presence serves as a deterrent to their illegal incursions. But NGO leaders like Oceana's Janelle Channona remain skeptical, insisting that GOB must make greater efforts at monitoring, especially in this remote wilderness.

Janelle Channona, Vice President
"We can't keep doing the same thing and expect a different result it's really about looking at the system and making the changes there, whether it's marine terrestrial whatever the case is, we're seeing that they're bottlenecks and there are things that by design need to change if we want to see different outcomes for the resources, for economic development, for people and so it's really important that we just take some hard looks at what's happening and make the changes and keep making changes until we get what we want. But this kind of you know out of sight out of mind approach has never worked well and what we have back here is far too precious just to hand it over."

Elma Kay, Forest Biologist
"What is it that when we made this decision to grant this licensee and have this developme what were we thinking in terms of monitoring, how do you leave a company out here."

"In terms of the forest mining is one of the most destructive activities that there is, your literally digging up the earth to get something for it. And it's very hard to see there would have to be a lot of work to remediate that."

Osmany Salas, Senator, NGO's
"FCD staff, this is their life they do this everyday, they are used to even rougher conditions that what we went through yesterday, that is one of the reasons why FCD has been a successful co-manager of the Chiquibul national park for all these years, and I would suggest that government should consider engaging with them and see how they could assist with the monitoring operations."

Jean Cornec, Project geologist, Boiton Minerals Ltd.
"Well we are not done anything that is irreparable actually everything we have done can be taken care of and if there is any infraction, we can take care of it but we'll be very soon in the process of re-seeding the area so what looks like a good optics will be taken care of pretty soon."

Jean Cornec
"The re-seeding won't take place for a few months, but once it starts I believe that you can see the results easily within a year."

And while the trees may grow back, the other, more serious accusation is that Boiton may be diverting streams and destroying watersheds, That's aquatic ecologist Ed Boles's major concern.

Ed Boles
"I'm always worried about any kind of disruption of the integrity of this watershed. Creates erosion when your removing material from this watershed and especially when you're digging into the terrain and you create erosion situation such as this. This erosion is an ongoing process naturally but when you get into a situation like this it greatly increases."

"We really have to take care of our Belize river, it gets a lot of sediment introduction from many other activities as well. So this is just yet one more, how large and how much is a question that we would want to ask."

Cornec has those numbers, but he agrees with Dr. Boles assessment that, erosion, something he calls a natural process, is happening with or without Boiton.

Jean Cornec
"So, maybe our activities contribute to a couple of tons of clay being washed into the creeks, but you have to keep in mind that at least according to my calculations there is probably 100,000 metric tons of mostly clay plus some sand and gravel that are washed every year out of the Maya Mountains 100,000 metric tons. So, we may have bay accidents a couple of tons of clay,clay, which are inert non-toxic, we do not use chemicals so our impact is very very minimal."

But despite Cornec's measured and straightforward style, the environmentalists certainly wouldn't agree with the assessment that Boiton's impact is minimal.

But what can they do? According to Boition all operations being conducted in the Chiquibul Park are not only legal but also very much above board. Now, it'll be up to the constant vigilance of the FCD and the NGO's to poke holes in that assessment.

But knowing the terrain and what they journey takes we can only wish them good luck and godspeed because continuous monitoring of Chiqibul operations will be almost as challenging as the journey there.

A joint inspection by officers of the Department of the Environment, Forest Department, National Biodiversity Office, the Mining Unit and the Friends for Conservation and Development concluded that several conditions of the Environmental Compliance Plan were not being met. A release says "The Government of Belize takes this non-compliance seriously and will be applying the appropriate penalties and fines for these infractions." The details of those penalties, inexplicably, remain secret.

Channel 7

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Weather
Yesterday at 10:33 AM
Gorgeous day!!! The weather is hot but beautiful! Photo by San Pedro Scoop

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Beautiful Wednesday in Hopkins Village. Photo by Hopkins Uncut

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5 204 Read More
News
Yesterday at 10:30 AM
[b]FIELD HOSPITAL FOR COVID19 VICTIMS TO OPEN THIS FRIDAY[/b

Media sources reported two days ago, that the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) made a strong appeal for family members of deceased persons who died as the result of Covid-19 to claim such corpse within 24 hour after their passing.

In a media interview that day Acting CEO for the KHMH, Mr Timothy Seguro, made a personal appeal as he briefed the public on the overfilled morgue at the KHMH.

"Seguro stated that the morgue has a capacity to hold 12 bodies, however at this time there are 15 being held. He also asked for family members of those deceased persons to claim the body their loved ones in order to remedy the overcrowding situation at the morgue".

Following this appeal a couple of days ago, a make shift Field Hospital for COVID-19 victims is scheduled to open this Friday.

[Linked Image]

Helping our friends and partners in Belize:

A look at a field hospital in Belize being prepared to support the nation’s fight against COVID19. The U.S. will officially hand over the hospital Friday. SOUTHCOM's Humanitarian Assistance Program funded the donation.

U.S. Southern Command

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[Linked Image]
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News
Yesterday at 10:27 AM
Today, Belize received 168,000 dose of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccines.

The Ministry of Health & Wellness is pleased to announce the arrival of a second shipment of 168,000 doses of the (Johnson & Johnson) Janssen COVID-19 vaccines acquired through UNICEF’s partnership with the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT).

This shipment arrived late yesterday evening on an Amerijet flight at the International airport. We once again extend appreciation to UNICEF Belize.

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