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#366715 02/08/10 12:44 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Training for Heritage Trainers
Date February 22, 2010
Coastal Zone Management Institute Training Room 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Princess Margaret Drive Belize City

Organized by Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Belize Tourism Board (BTB)
And International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) in collaboration with
Central America Integration System (SICA), Rainforest Alliance (RA)
And the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


Dear Colleagues,
As our tourism industry and other local economic activities create significant strain on the intrinsic wealth that exists within our natural and cultural heritage, the need for a comprehensive and conscientious approach to safeguard these key elements is imperative. As a regional initiative, new training methods, and materials have been developed for Heritage Tourism Training. In-depth training sessions are currently being provided to interested trainers in each country of Central America to familiarize them with these training tools.

We are pleased to confirm date and venue and to extend this invitation to your organization to participate in the upcoming Heritage Tourism Training in Belize City February 22, 2010. For those who have already submitted participants' names, we trust the date and venue is still to your convenience.
Especially because of the 2009 Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site evaluation, we trust you will make the special effort to take advantage of this opportunity to improve on the identification, protection, management and enjoyment of Belize's natural and cultural heritage. Each participating agency will receive a full set of training aids and materials to help realize their responsibility as guardians of our Belizean heritage.
Please provide the following information for the trainer you wish to enroll and email to [email protected] attention Heritage Tourism by latest February 15, 2010.

Complimentary to participants: training, training CD and Map, refreshments, lunch

Heritage Tourism Trainers
Maria Vega BTIA [email protected]
Raymond Mossiah BTB [email protected]
Abil Castaneda ICRT [email protected]

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 153
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Oh yes. Belizean Heritage. Excellent.And I see the 2009 World Heritage site evaluation of the Belize Barrier Reef is mentioned.
That would be theJune 15th 2009 evaluation which in UNESCO's mission report, quote "concluded that the reef is faced with specific and proven imminent danger, and should be considered for immediate inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger" unquote
So our reef is now on that list.
Why you may ask is that? Who is to blame?
Well the UNESCO report which was not well publicised at the time (I wonder why?) tells the story.
And it has NOTHING to do with tourism, tour guides, so let's shoot that canard straight away.
Here are a few quotes from that report.
"The overall impression is there is no clear recognition or understanding of the management implications of a World Heritage property"
"The government appears to be managing mangrove islands as unprotected national public lands and not as part of the World heritage property"
" It is apparently still possible with the current government for large developments to take place within the World Heritage property"
And finally " The mission team was disappointed in that, except for a brief meeting with the Minister of Tourism, no senior government representatives met the mission thus not allowing for discussion of the findings"
In other words GOB snubbed UNESCO. Very smart. When the doctor tells you you are sick, the smart thing to do is listen to what he says, not refuse to meet him, or be "in a meeting"
This report is damning, but for the BTB or BTIA to think they will be able to help is re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.
What is the real reason the Barrier Reef in trouble?
There are two reasons.
First we are not controlling development on the system. that is an inescapable conclusion from the UNESCO report.
Second, we are failing to manage the pollution, eutrophication sedimentation, and habitat loss to development all of which are key contributors to reef decline. This is taken from the summary of the MMAS symposium last Friday in Belize City.
I posted a report on the symposium on a separate thread.
I close by repeating what Dr Kaufman said in his concluding remarks. " we conclude that simply managing fishing pressures and direct human impacts (ie tourism)are insufficient to halt reef decline"
So maybe we should all be asking the body responsible for the control of land based pollution, eutrophication, sedimentation, and habitat loss to development, the Department of Environment what they made of Dr Kaufman's remarks?
Oh, wait a bit, we can't. The DoE did not even bother to go to the meeting, and nor did the Forestry Department.
Anyway the message is clear. It ain't the tourists damaging the reef, its US who live here. Uncomfortable maybe, but thats what the scientists tell us (very gently LOL)


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