RESIDENTS & OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO BE CONSULTED ON RESTORATION ACTIVITIES FOR THE NEW RIVER

A consultative process has just begun and will be carried out over a four-week period with various stakeholder groups that reside within the New River watershed. Identified stakeholder groups include residents along the New River, representatives of local governments and institutions, factory operators, farmers, tourism and business operators, and civil society representatives.

This consultation will provide valuable insight into stakeholders’ views, concerns, and recommendations for consideration in developing a management plan to restore and conserve the New River watershed.

A comprehensive and integrated watershed management plan is critical to guide the restoration, protection and promotion of the sustainable use and benefits of the resources of the New River watershed for all users and stakeholders, present and future. The Department of the Environment (DOE) is implementing the development of the New River Watershed Plan with the financial assistance of the Protected Areas Conservation Trust.

The DOE encourages all identified stakeholders to actively engage with the consulting team to be able to participate in the successful completion of this activity. Members of the consultation team will possess a letter from the DOE identifying themselves as part of this activity.

For further information or clarification, please contact Fermin Olivera at 672-1428 or email [email protected]

Restoration Activities for the New River

A portion of New River which stretches from the toll bridge to Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk District remains critically stressed and shows the highest levels of chlorophyll and lowest levels of dissolved oxygen. According to the Department of the Environment, this is indicative of an algal bloom which is detrimental to aquatic life. The D.O.E. says that the area is being affected mainly by industrial, agricultural and urban discharges. On Friday, government announced via press release that consultations have begun with various stakeholder groups that reside within the New River watershed. The process will provide valuable insight into stakeholders’ views, concerns and recommendations for consideration in developing a management plan to restore and conserve the New River watershed. Industries, farmers and the public can assist by ensuring that they are complying within their property with adequate waste management practices and vegetation buffer along the river to reduce the organic load entering the river.

Channel 5