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#526472 - 10/19/17 05:28 AM Conservationists Welcome Moratorium  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
There's a house meeting on Friday is highly anticipated because government will introduce legislation for the moratorium on offshore oil exploration in Belize's waters. The bill may even get bi-partisan support.

Oceana and concerned Belizeans have been waiting for this since it was announced in the last house meeting back in September. This morning we spoke to the Vice President of Oceana Janelle Chanona who reiterated why the moratorium is important for Belize.

Sahar Vasquez, reporter
"The moratorium is coming up on Friday. How are you feeling going into this big event?"

Janelle Chanona, OCEANA
"You're absolutely right this is history in the making. This would be huge not only for Belize but in terms of communicating to the world some of the information you have just heard presented."

"Our Belizean Barrier Reef in just three services is contributing something like a billion dollars conservatively to our local economy so this would be a huge step in recognizing that fact."

"Anybody that saw and continue to see the tragic imagery coming out of Trinidad you make that immediate connection that this is the reality of living and trying to fish and trying to use marine assets where this activity is taking place."

"We are very sorry to use Trinidad as a reference point but in a way the Trinidadian experience allows us to go into future decisions eyes wide open."

"As I said it is really that our continued vigilance and our collective leadership on this will really dictate the quality of the future that all of us want to enjoy as Belizeans."

When passed, the moratorium will legislate the indefinite prohibition of offshore drilling in Belizean waters.

Channel 7


#526515 - 10/20/17 12:42 PM Re: Conservationists Welcome Moratorium [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Video: Belize’s Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow introduces legislation to enshrine an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil in Belizean waters.


#526518 - 10/21/17 05:57 AM Re: Conservationists Welcome Moratorium [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,706
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Legislation For Moratorium On Offshore Drilling Introduced To The House

Another piece of history was made today when the legislation for a moratorium on offshore drilling was introduced. It's called the Petroleum Operations Maritime Zone Moratorium Bill, and it was introduced for a first reading. That means it now has to go to committee, and then come back to the house for debate, and second and third readings. Still, the wheels are in motion, and there is virtually no chance of it getting voted down in the house. So, today, the conservation community filled up the galleries and applauded for the bill after the Minister of Petroleum introduced it:...

Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Petroleum
"A bill for an act to impose a moratorium on the exploration for petroleum and other petroleum operations in the maritime zone of Belize to prevent pollution from installation devices and vessels use in the exploration or exploitation of petroleum resources of the sea bed and subsoil of the maritime zone, to accordingly make further provisions for the protection of the Belize Barrier Reef system and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto."

"This bill have the recommendation of the cabinet."

Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize
"I think there was collective sigh of relief that was definitely audible and the comfort of peace of mind is in sight."

Valentino Shal, Advocacy Lead - WWF Belize
"The introduction of this bill to pass a moratorium on offshore activities in our maritime areas including the Belize Barrier Reef is an incredible progress. If you consider just last year around this same time we were having seismic ships conducting seismic testing in the very same area and to have this being passed today is incredible progress that is only possible because of the support of the Belizean people, the organizations that we work with here locally and also our friends abroad. So we are quite pleased with the decision, because it put Belize in a very good foot towards sustainable development and of course the World Heritage Site as you mentioned has been on the endangered list for quite some time and this is one of the very important steps that need to be taken for it to come off the endangered list."

Janelle Chanona, VP - OCEANA Belize
"It's truly a big day for Belize. This is not an environmental issue. This is not a conservation issue. This has been a Belize issue and one that has been near and dear to tens of thousands of Belizean. We will be sharing our comments to the draft as soon as we have the final versions, so that the public can see what we would be recommending in terms of changes and certainly for OCEANA we will making sure that as part of the official record before the committee we will be laying for consideration the tens of thousands of signatures, letters, petitions, even the selfies of support that we have gotten throughout our advocacy on this because again we need to make sure that is officially documented."

The Committee will meet on October 30th when regular citizens are invited to make presentations on it.

Channel 7



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