Lisel Alamilla is Belize's first Minister of Sustainable Development. The career conservationist was recruited into the second Barrow Administration to try and smooth out sometimes turbulent relations with the conservation community.

And the effort to normalize those relations began in earnest today with the first meeting between the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO and Minister Alamilla.

It's a follow up to a meeting APAMO held with all political parties before the general election, and for this one, APAMO asked its members to submit a laundry list of issues.

Today - after seeing that list - Alamilla said her ministry will take as much as it can on board - but there are limits to what she can do:..

Edilberto Romero, Chairman APAMO
"The government invited us to work on an agenda with them so that we can work together in a more coordinated and amicable fashion."

"We are thankful that the minister has invited us and given us space to make our representation. We've been able to discuss certain issues and a way forward."

"We have great expectations, the entire conservation community is very happy and we can see that things are going to move forward for the betterment of not only protected areas but sustainable development in general."

Hon. Lisel Alamilla
"There are some areas that I think they are very ambitious in the time frame that they have set. But I think they are achievable within the 5 year term with this government."

Jules Vasquez
"Just last month these people were your colleagues, you peers in conservation work and now they are looking to you, perhaps as a cural when you have another master to serve. How do you juggle those sometimes competing interest?"

Hon. Lisel Alamilla
"I think it's very exciting times for me personally to have this opportunity. I think the Prime Minister by bringing me in had made a decision that he wants to leave a legacy to this country of sustainable development."

"They have to recognize that I am no longer wearing the hat of an executive director of a non-governmental organization. I am wearing the hat as a minister of government and that I have to maneuver through that system. We will try to find win win solutions." "You know we have to be real, its politics that we are dealing with."

Edilberto Romero, Chairman APAMO
"The key to this is collaboration, communication and I think that we have that here. I think the minister and her team is open to have a frank discussion, to have communication and collaboration. That is the key."

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