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COALITION to be Launched on World Oceana Day


June 4, 2010



Coalition to be Launched on World Oceana Day



Over eight NGO's have joined forces to form a coalition to bring about awareness about the implications of oil exploration and drilling offshore and in protected areas in Belize





As part of World Ocean Day the coalition will unveil its official name, membership and position on the ongoing debate of oil drilling and exploration offshore and in protected areas. Since APAMO, COLA, OCEANA, Healthy Reef Initiative and BELPO went public with their position on the issue of offshore exploration and drilling there has been a pouring of support from organizations and members of the public, which has spurred the need for the Coalition to be formed. Since then its membership has been growing with APAMO alone bringing on board its 14 members which are other local and community based NGO's.



Several other environmental and social partners have since signed up to join the coalition to address their concern with a united voice. The coalition is studying the socio-economic impact and the legal implications of the proposed oil exploration and drilling off our shores and in our terrestrial and marine protected areas with a view to advice the government on the need to reconsider its present policy and ban these activities in our waters and protected areas.



The general public is invited to be a part of this historic event which will be held June 8, 2010 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm at the Radisson Fort George Caracol Room. Please be seated by 1:30 pm.



As part of the forum there will be a presentation on issues that need to be addressed in relation to oil exploration and drilling both offshore and in protected areas, on land and in sea. Presenters will speak about the legal realities in Belize, the economic impact to the existing tourism and fishing sectors and the environmental implications for Belizeans.



The forum will also be the occasion at which the winners of the Oceana World Ocean Day Essay competition will be announced and awarded their respective prizes.



This forum is being held in partnership with APAMO, COLA and Healthy Reef Initiative and co-sponsored by OAK Foundation and KREM RADIO & TV, which will also be airing the event live.

*****

Contact Persons: Yvette Alonzo - 671-7202

Audrey Matura-Shepherd 610-0702

If you are interested in learning more about the coalitions position and the impacts and risks of oil exploration both offshore and in protected areas we encourage you to attend. Please share with others who may be interested.



Please note that

Mrs. Anna Hoare and myself will be on the Love talk Show at 8 a.m.

Tomorrow - June 8th Melanie and Geovanni will be on the Open Your Eyes talk show

And Audrey and Eddie will be on the WUB talk show.



June 9th Eddie will also be on the Business Perspective talk show at 7:15 p.m.





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Are all of the speakers addressing the issues opposed to drilling or are there speakers that will present the issues favorable to drilling?

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:-) your joking right??
Bywarren maybe they would let you get up and speak for oil exploration and drilling off our shores and in our terrestrial and marine protected areas.
let me know i would be inspired to attend.


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Not joking at all. Just interested in getting all of the facts from both sides of the argument before deciding my position.
Remember my life is not as blissful as yours.

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If the project can be undertaken safely (that's a big "if", of course), and if a substantial part of the proceeds gets where it should and stays there, and if environmental impact could be kept low (visual as well as possible pollution), then I could be in favour of drilling. I certainly think we should hear both sides.

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I believe that the purpose is to hear a recent study that had been done by environmental groups. I also believe that it is to start a vocal opposition if people feel that the groups presenting have a valuable argument. I am going. I think that the more people representing the Cayes as a major economic resource will have an important voice.
Drilling may be a rational choice with proper oversight that is not open to corruption and pay offs. I don't agree with that but can understand that there may be a rational discussion regarding that.
I wonder if anyone in political class has made any side deals in signing off on these potential drilling sites.

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Originally Posted by elbert
:-) your joking right??
Bywarren maybe they would let you get up and speak for oil exploration and drilling off our shores and in our terrestrial and marine protected areas.
let me know i would be inspired to attend.

Elbert: I am not in the oil business in Belize, or the tourist business in Belize, or in any business in Belize. Some might say "I got no business being in Belize".

But I remember the days when people like you were not welcome in Belize. When Larry Parker went thru all his trials and tribulations being a gringo tying to start a diving business and the locals trying to stop him.

Now you refer to "our shores and in our terrestrial and marine protected areas." I guess I missed the Gringo/Belize war where you guys conquered Belize.

OH, for the "good ole days".

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there always seems to be some magical timeline where you either are or are not allowed to THINK you have a voice.
what is that OFFICIAL timeline?

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I don't consider it to be a question of whether you have a voice. In any county where they recognize freedom of speech, everyone has a voice. The question for me is what weight does that voice carry. Not being Belizean I don't consider my voice to carry much weight. And, I must confess that on some issues my opinion comes down to a selfish one wanting Belize to be like I would like it to be.
On this issue of oil versus tourism, as some have portrayed it, I hope that those in power to make the decisions will take into consideration all of the facts, unlike some who appear to have formed their opinion based only on what is good for tourism.
If Belize is to put so many "apples" in that tourism basket, I hope they realize the future of tourism and how important it will be to control the development going on in the name of tourism that is destroying much of the environment and bring with it the uncontrolled crime.
If not, Belizeans might wish they had some other "baskets" to feed off of.

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Planning is always about the balance between environment and economic considerations. And it only works when every stakeholder gives up an equal amount. The problem is that we always want the "other" to be the one that gives up something

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