Tomorrow will be observed as World Oceans Day and to mark the occasion several organizations have teamed up to present a forum on offshore drilling. Love News spoke with Yvette Alonzo from APAMO.

Yvette Alonzo - APAMO

"There have been four organizations that have publicly called for a ban on offshore drilling as well as in protected areas. This group has come together to form a coalition along with several other organizations that have signed up to be a part of the coalition. Tomorrow we will be launching the coalition to the public as well as having an educational forum where we will be making presentations on the environmental impact of offshore drilling and oil exploration within protected areas as well as looking at the economical aspects of it comparing the benefits of the petroleum industry to the fisheries and tourism industries as well as looking at the legal components of it, what our current petroleum act and other legislation that we have in place have when dealing with the oil industry. In addition to that we will also have a survey going on and a petition as well as asking other organizations to join our efforts in calling for a ban on offshore drilling in Belize."

Alonzo said the groups came together to draw attention to the importance of the issue of oil exploration.

Yvette Alonzo - APAMO

"We were very concerned that concessions have been granted, there are seventeen concessions that have been granted throughout the country of Belize, basically covering the entire country for oil exploration. Of these 17, eight falls within our waters and we consider that it is extremely sensitive considering that we have the second largest Barrier Reef in the world which provide livelihood to both the people who depend on these resources, the fishing and tourism industries. We have done some research and we recognize that oil exploration does contaminate and has impact as well as risks associated with it that can seriously affect our marine resources and so the group came together and decided to join their efforts in calling for a ban on offshore drilling."

Tomorrow's forum is being held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and begins at two o'clock in the afternoon.