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#501601 - 02/27/15 07:10 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,164
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
All the Government of Belize programs run as smoothly as an expensive Swiss watch. What makes people think an offshore oil drilling operation in our World Heritage Site would be a problem?

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#501609 - 02/27/15 09:56 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 5,464
ScubaLdy Offline
ScubaLdy  Offline
Elbert - will you please get your tongue out of your check! Some people may not be able to understand you when you talk that way. lol

Take only pictures leave only bubbles
#502615 - 03/24/15 01:47 PM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,164
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
If you search these forums and threads about the Mexico Rocks Reserve proposal you'll find the public has been teased and lied to about it becoming a reserve over and over. Each time a developer or realestate agent wants positive press about the area to promote the sale of land or condos or politicians when an election is forthcoming, they tout that Mexico Rocks is soon to become a reserve. How stupid are we the public to believe this each time it comes up for over two decades and how silly are we now. The rangers didn't show up, the fishing continues and guess what, it was all just another pre-election lie. 'Politicians Are The Whores at The Party, But We're The Ones Getting [#%!].'

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#502616 - 03/24/15 03:21 PM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,430
Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
I was told by someone who said they were at the signing ceremony the reserve has been approved. No?

Belize based travel specialist
#502621 - 03/24/15 08:36 PM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,164
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
I was at that ceremony (just before the election) Heredia and or Mayor stood up and said it was approved and how it was a product of their hard work.
It wasn't true and no one can act because it isn't a reserve until it's been signed. It's called Politricks they knew it wouldn't get signed before the election so they said it was approved to get the votes it might collect. They had the gall to have the ceremony pictured below.
[Linked Image]
Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“It couldn’t have been historic without the support of the community…the many people, organizations, stakeholders that are area and with the goodwill of this administration. This government believes if we have tourism as the number one priority of our administration, then we have to make sure that we can join forces in protecting the environment, to make sure that there is sustainable development that is happening over here and that is exactly what we are doing.”

This was just fraud and lies. The process for the reserve is exactly where it has been for a decade. Developers and special interest groups have the politicians under their thumbs and won't let this go through because they have other plans for the lands proposed to be reserved. Heredia deceived the public and now will lie about it even more. Get ready for his new public statement about how innocent he is.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#502720 - 03/27/15 12:05 PM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,164
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline

Celebrated Hol Chan Reserve Expansion Yet to Happen

The cold cool beers flowed and a full buffet beckoned as the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve was launched just days before a major election on February 25th. But even though Cabinet has approved the plan, The San Pedro Sun can confirm that the expansion has not been signed into law, one full month after it was launched in grand style. So what is the hold up and just how long will it take before it is legislated?

No one knows for sure how long it will take before it is turned into law. What is known at this time is that the document is before the Solicitor General’s Office, yet to be reviewed before it is returned to the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development to then be signed into a Statutory Instrument (SI). During the official launch of the expansion, Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade indicated that it was just a matter of days before the SI would be signed into law. 30 days after the launch, the document still sits before the Solicitor General’s Office. Before any document is signed into law, it must be reviewed by the Solicitor General’s office to ensure that it does not contravene any other law.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager Miguel Alamilla explained that he cannot speak as to how long it will take before it is actually signed into an SI and gazetted. However, he did say that the staff at Hol Chan is already doing preliminary work such as placing markers in the new area.

Celebrations held from the alleged Hol Chan Marine Reserve Espansion.

At the official launching of the reserve, Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr. was one of the speakers, and in which he indicated that some adjustments were made to the coordinates of the expansion. One of those changes that were made was to exclude a portion of the wetland area. The portion that was excluded from the reserve was part of the wetlands that came under public scrutiny when it was parceled out for a subdivision. Although the proposed subdivision has been relocated the land was excluded from the reserve. Alamilla confirmed that the “government and some local stakeholders’ recommended that the border of the subdivision be moved to exclude that area. The adjustment will see the reserve running almost parallel to the road that leads to Grand Belizean Estate subdivision.

Another notable adjustment was that while the polygon of the expansion shows the inclusion of a mass area, Alamilla indicated that a clause in the official documents exclude private land from being treated as part of the reserve. Those lands include a significant amount of private land, a portion of the Social Security Board land and some of BELTRAIDE’s properties. In fact, there was a special request made by BELTRAIDE to be excluded from the polygon, with over 1000 acres of their property intended for future development.

As part of the adjustment, the demarcation of the reserve was moved approximately one kilometer from the main coastal areas. That was done to allow fishermen, especially from Bomba Village in the Belize District, the opportunity to continue using the coastal waters as traditional fishing grounds. In addition, dredging will also be allowed in the general use area of Zone E. Dredging will not be allowed in E-I to E-VI areas. Dredging is subject to the approval of permits and other related documents by the authorized government agencies and will be supervised by Hol Chan Marine Reserve staff. ‘When establishing protected areas, you have to make some compromises,” said Alamilla.

Alamilla explained that the establishment of the expansion of the reserve was a “complex process,” that changed on several occasions. He said that until all the legislation is in place, following the signing of the SI, the area is still not considered a reserve.

The San Pedro Sun attempted multiple times to get a comment or an update from Administrator Wade, but all attempts were futile.

San Pedro Sun

The Dive Shops Daily Blog
#502733 - 03/28/15 05:01 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,364
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Editorial: Marine Reserve Politricks

On Thursday, February 26th one of our front page headlines read, “Monumental expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is official”. The photo inside on page seven was taken at the grand inaugural ceremony which was held at the office of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on February 25th. The image featured a group of stakeholders poising with two politicians who are grinning like the cat who swallowed the canary. And why so smug you may ask? Well, they knew what we all now know…it was a grand spectacle for, well, nothing really.

Sure the project was one step closer, but not a done deal, not by a long shot. Needless to say this was unbeknownst to us…the gullible, the visionary, the hopeful followers who believed that yes, finally, after YEARS in the works this dream was actually going to be realized. In other words we were duped my friends, and we took the bait…hook, line and sinker! We ran as fast as we could to the polling stations, eager to reward their Party with votes of confidence…and won they did! I personally know one tour guide who voted for these politicians (or Party I should say) for this sole reason…by expanding the marine reserve they were providing him with job security while protecting the area.

As you will read in our front page story this week, “Celebrated Hol Chan Reserve Expansion Yet to Happen”, there are still a few more hoops this plan needs to jump through, and we all know how speedy the legislative process can be…maybe another year, or better yet why not wait for the general election in 2017 to resurrect the promise once again? Now that’s getting a lot of mileage out of a campaign pledge if you ask me!

We shouldn’t be surprised, really…we’ve been here before, many times. What were we thinking? It WAS election time after all! Talk is cheap AND it wins elections. Case in point.

I have to wonder when will we ever learn? I certainly fell for it…did you?

San Pedro Sun

#504736 - 05/31/15 04:45 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,364
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Minister Manuel Heredia clarifies questions surrounding Hol Chan Marine Reserve Expansion

Following years of lobbying by marine environmentalists on Ambergris Caye, the expansion of Hol Chan Marine Reserve was approved by Cabinet and inaugurated in a grand celebration on February 25, 2015. But shortly after the celebrations, news broke out that the Statutory Instrument (SI) was still being reviewed by the Attorney General. Thirty days later, the SI remained unsigned, leading to the belief that the expansion was not yet official. Since that controversy, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation and Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. went on the record to clarify the allegation and confirm that the expansion is official.

“When we inaugurated the expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve it was already official. Yes the document was still being reviewed by the Attorney General but only to ensure that it does not contravene any other law. Honorable Lisel Alamilla (Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development) signed the SI shortly after the ceremony with my support,” said Heredia. According to Heredia the confusion was blown out of proportion without reason. “Once the relevant Minister placed their signature on the SI and it was gazetted, then it became official. The Attorney General advises on the legalities and wording of the SI to ensure that everything is in proper order. It doesn’t need his signature to make it a done deal. This is what caused the confusion,” said Heredia.

The San Pedro Sun confirmed under the Belize Constitution (seventh amendment) Bill Section 42, that the Attorney General acts as an advisor and that SIs are made legal with the Ministers’ signature.

The expansion saw 359 square kilometers of reef, sea, shoals, lagoon and wetlands becoming part of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Certain changes were made to the original document to accommodate private land owners. The expansion includes eight Zones ‘A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H’, excluding all private property. Zone A is the Hol Chan Channel No-take Zone comprising sea and reef on the south of Ambergris Caye containing about 2.7 square kilometers. Zone B is the Sea Grass Beds comprising of land and sea containing approximately 22 square kilometers situated at the south end of Ambergris Caye bounded on the North South East and West by sea. Zone C is the Mangrove Islands comprising of land and sea containing 25.4 square kilometers situated at the south end of Ambergris Caye bounded on the North East and West by sea and on the south by land locally known as Boca Chica and Cangrejo shoals. Zone D is the Coral Reef comprising of the sea and reef on the south of Ambergris Caye containing approximately 5.3 square kilometers. Zone E is the Bajos General Area comprising of sea and land except for private property containing approximately 330.6 square kilometers. Zone F is the Bajos General Use Zone comprising of sea and rand except for private property. Zone E is subdivided into I – Bajos General Use Zone, II – Cayo Pajaro Conservation Zone, III- Bajos Conservation Zone, IV – Cayo Rosario Conservation Zone, V – Blackadore Conservation Zone and VI – Los Salones Conservation. Zoen F is the Cayo Frances Conservation Area comprising of all land and sea except for private property containing approximately 13.5 square kilometers. Zone G is the Mexico Rocks General Use Area excluding the Mexico Rocks No Take Zone (zone H) comprising of sea and reef on the east of Ambergris Caye congaing approximately 15 square kilometers. Zone H is the Mexico Rocks No Take Zone comprising of sea and cayes, excluding all private property, on the east of Ambergris Caye containing approximately 2.56 square kilometers.

The Reserve is now in the phase of making necessary adjustments to manage the area. Funds are being allocated to support the additional staff and resources needed to regulate the entire scope of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Initially, the Reserve was depending on a grant from Protected Area Conservation Trust (PACT). “PACT had already approved the grant, but due to the time it took to make the SI official that grant was lost. But we are revisiting the grant and will also be applying for further funding from international agents. For now, the general revenue that Hol Chan already acquires will be used to sustain the entire reserve. Hol Chan is in charge of the complete management,” said Heredia.

Heredia also explained that Miguel Alamilla has taken the task of General Manager for the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. “Each zone that is protected will have a park manager to oversee the day to day activities that happen. Miguel Alamilla will be the general manger that will oversee the running of reserve,” said Heredia.

Only recreational activities are allowed within the reserve, and no extraction of any kind of marine resources (alive or dead) is allowed.

San Pedro Sun

#504737 - 05/31/15 04:56 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,938
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline

#504755 - 05/31/15 11:13 AM Re: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Extension Approved! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,164
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
Don't 'Yea' yet. It's still full of holes. No rangers are at the site protecting it and collecting fees. The Snuba operation is still on site and said to have a lease for a section of the reef at Mexico Rocks. Has anyone asked the question,'Is The signature of the Minister of Fisheries all that is necessary to make this statutory Instrument law?. Does the Minister of Fisheries have the right to negate a leased area of reef at Mexico Rocks?
GOB screwed around and lost the funding for this project and would now like to appear to have worked out the problems so they can get the grant back, but with out truly working out the problems.
The headline reads, 'Minister Manuel Heredia clarifies' that should be your first clue!
No fat lady has sung on this project yet and your still looking at smoke from a politician.

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