Affirmative Resolution for the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan
The Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute (CZMAI) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is pleased to announce that the National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”) has received affirmative resolution in the House of Representatives and the Senate as of yesterday, August 31st 2016. This resolution meets the legal requirements for effectuation of the Plan as outlined in Section 23 (6) of the Coastal Zone Management Act, Chapter 329, Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003.
Approval of the Plan by Affirmative Resolution is an extraordinary step forward for sustainable coastal resource use and management in Belize and solidifies the government’s commitment to fulfilling the national agenda for growth and sustainable development. It is the culmination of an extensive four-year participatory process with all affected governmental agencies, and other relevant stakeholders representing multiple sectors, as well as the private sector and civil society interests. Through a legally required 60-day public inspection period, the Plan was widely circulated for review and comment by stakeholders to ensure its credibility, precision and social acceptability. It is closely aligned with existing legislative planning frameworks and sectoral policies for the coastal zone, and integrates new management interventions. As a result, the Government of Belize has officially authorized its use thereof by government and non-governmental agencies, as the overall guiding strategy to better manage conflicting interests and to make defensible, enduring decisions in managing Belize’s marine resources.
The Plan is a first of its kind for Central America and the wider Caribbean region. It blends conservation goals with current and future needs for coastal development and marine uses that relate to Belize’s key economic sectors. The science-based Informed Management spatial zoning scheme and policy actions will ensure that the economic returns from key coastal resources are maximized while minimizing environmental impact and, where possible, enhance ecological health. Therefore, the implementation of the Plan will ensure the sustainability of our coastal resources for the benefit of current and future generations of Belizeans.
An electronic copy of the full National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan may be accessed online at http://www.coastalzonebelize.org/?p=1390