Is a moratorium on logging a foot? There is a shortage of economically viable species of hardwoods within Belize because there has been a high level of harvesting and little reforestation. The Forest Department has recommended a moratorium. C.E.O. Doctor Kenrick Williams explains what the ministry is doing when it comes to short-term logging licenses for extraction of hardwoods.

Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Climate Change

"When we do the assessment across the country for those economic species - mahogany, yemeri and some of the others - we see that because of the process engaged with these short-term license, there has been a lot of harvesting, but very little reforestation within the crown lands or leased lands. And so for that reason, we need to allow a regeneration period, we need to invest in restoration processes and that is why the department is recommending that. We have a moratorium particularly as it relates to crown lands and leased lands to distribute permits. Because of COVID, the interest in resource extraction has significantly increased. The ministry said we would need to be considerate and expand opportunities for people to have access to particularly some of these crown areas; that the stop would not be significant. So if you look at an area in Maskal that somebody has identified - it's crown lands - there might be one species that they can have access to where normally they would have three or four economic species that they could harvest. We've said we will allow them to harvest one economic species; it doesn't mean there are no trees there. We allowed for that knowing that we would have to very soon put a moratorium on these short term licensing that allows harvesting on public lands."

Channel 5