HON. ANDRE PEREZ, MINISTER OF BLUE ECONOMY & CIVIL AVIATION HANDS OVER $2,000 TO SAN PEDRO ENVIRONMENTAL & CONSERVATION GROUP

Mangroves, the lungs of our barrier reef and our own sustenance, areat risk!

This morning Minister Andre Perez, CEO Kennedy Carrillo and Environmental Engineer of the Ministry of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, Emilie Gomez joined by Hol Chan Board of Trustees Chairperson, Ian Pou and PUP Mayoral Aspirant Wally Nunez were taken on a tour of the lagoon in San Pedro by Abner Bacab and Roan Gonzalez of the San Pedro Environmental & Conservation Group.

The main objective of the site visit was to observe first hand the effects of mangroves clearing as well as wide-spread garbage on the mangroves system.

Mangroves are an essential component of the island ecosystem as they provide structure to the island, while preventing erosion. The coastline is protected because the roots of mangroves act to trap sediments that would otherwise be washed back out by the waves.

In addition there are the mangroves that that numerous marine species such as fish and shrimp use as nurseries during early life stages. When the mangrove refuge is no longer required, these animals venture out into the adjoining reefs or the open ocean. In this manner, mangroves act as a critical source to replenish some of the ocean's fish stock.

Minister of the Blue Economy emphasized the Ministry’s concern over the loss of such an important natural resource and has commenced the dialogue with these community groups to identify innovative ways of addressing these serious and urgent issues.

In a symbolic gesture the Minister handed over $2000 to the Environmental group as a token of gratitude and the recognition of the importance of community involvement and mobilization as a part of the new Blue Economy Model for Belize.

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