Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sust. Dev. Cracking Down On Rogue Developers

And while the Fisheries Ministry is making history at the international level, domestically - they are also cracking down on rogue developers.

Actually, it's the Ministry of Forestry, fisheries and Sustainable Development - which also includes the Department of the Environment. All combined, those departments have a lot of teeth for enforcement - and now they are combining their resources to conduct a sweep, reviewing ongoing developments for compliance with the law.

Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade told us what they have found so far:..

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator
"We have been to 2 regions actually; we've done Turneffe and we've done Salt Water Caye Marine Reserve area and what we are seeing ranges. They ranges from a group of locals deciding they are going to build their own island by filling it up with garbage on a shoal to infractions by developers who don't have permits to carry out the type of development that they have out there to somebody simply deciding that they want to do a little fill on an already privately owned holiday island."

Wendel Parham, Ceo - Min. Fisheries/Forestry/Sust. Dev.
"Follow up on issue have been a bit slow and this has cause things to go out of sync a little bit so the issue now is we try to take a new approach and address these issues in a rounded way."

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator
"It's really a coordinated approach that it varies from us now looking at whether or not there is need for a stop order. Whether or not there is need for some consultations with the people who are working in that area to tell them you're doing this and you need to get these permits and some of them are more serious infractions that the ministry is now contemplating sanctions/fines."

Hon. Lisel Alamilla
"I take this opportunity really to call upon the investors and users that they need to adhere to our laws and that we are going to be going out and visiting a lot of these developments to ensure that they are incompliance. We are prepared to serve them with cease and desist orders if that become necessary. But we would prefer that they communicate with immediately to say why they are not incompliance."

Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator
"The objective is not to stop development, it's now to ensure that people know we are here to provide assistance to them, technical advice but we are also here to ensure that we continue development in a responsible manner in Belize."

As we understand it - the Department of the Environment has already issued one stop order.

Channel 7