|BEMAMCCOR Chair/Green Reef President Mito Paz
The Executive Committee of the Belize-Mexico Alliance
for the Management of the Common Coastal Resources (BEMAMCCOR) met
Tuesday, May 6th and
announced Belize as their new 2003 ñ 2005 Secretariat. Furthermore, Mr.
Guillermo "Mito" Paz, Chief Officer and President of Green Reef
Environmental Institute, was appointed the Chair of BEMAMCCOR for the
2003 ñ 2005 term. Colegio de Biologos del Sistema Tecnologico, (COBIOTEC)
from Mexico will serve as the Co-Chair for the Alliance.
BEMAMCCOR is a forum for
consultation, coordination, convergence and joint efforts in the
management of the coastal resources shared between Belize and Mexico. It
is a collective body comprised of various agencies, institutes and
organizations from both countries, that work together with their
respective ministries responsible for natural resources and environment,
to fulfill their commitments to responsible coastal resource management.
The organizations comprising the
BEMAMCCOR general membership (as well as those attending the recent
meeting) from Belize are Green Reef Environmental Institute (Mito Paz),
San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Belize Institute for
Environmental Law and Policy (Godsman Ellis), Coastal Zone Management
Authority and Institute, Hol Chan Marine Reserve (Miguel Alamilla),
Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park (Alicia Eck), Caye Caulker
Forest and Marine Reserve (Isaias Majil), University of Belize and Belize
organizations from Mexico are Amigos de Sian Ka an, Colegio de Biologos
del Sistema Tecnologico, Amigos del Manati, El Colegio de la Frontera
Sur, Universidad de Quintana Roo and Reserva de Banco Chinchorro.
The objective of the Secretariat of
BEMAMCCOR is the coordination of the regional activities of the network
and to follow up on agreements made by BEMAMCCOR. These include
requesting plans, writing proposals, seeking funds for research projects,
representing BEMAMCCOR at public occasions and managing the
organization's funds. As Secretariat, Mr. Paz plans to initiate projects
such as researching the water quality of Chetumal Bay, harmonizing
the fisheries laws between Mexico and Belize, standardizing the zoning
between the marine protected areas of the two countries and providing
alternate economic training courses for fishermen.
According to Mr. Paz, a plan is in place
to hire a full-time coordinator to work for both countries of the
Alliance. This person would oversee many of the administrative duties and
activities required by the Alliance that members do not have time to
Mr. Paz explained that in the last year, members of
BEMAMCCOR, a bi-national alliance (Belize-Mexico), met with members of
TRIGO, a tri-national alliance (Honduras-Guatemala-Belize). This
introduction was initiated by the Meso-American Barrier Reef System
organization as a means to combine the strategies of both alliances in
the management of trans-boundary marine and national parks (those parks
that overlap borders).
Mr. Paz stated, "Without alliances such as BEMAMCCOR
and TRIGO, members of these individual NGOs and conservation
organizations might never have met. These alliances have made it possible
for all of these multi-national organizations to exchange ideas, research
and methodologies, while developing long-lasting working relationships."
He added that a multi-national alliance would be able to address issues
as a unified front. This alliance could possibly, in time, make
recommendations to all governments regarding park management, fishing
regulations, zoning laws, etc.
Belize and Mexico signed an agreement and
terms of reference establishing BEMAMCCOR in March of 2001. This year,
BEMAMCCOR will register as a Non-Governmental Organization in the country
of Belize to assist in the management of their countries' shared coastal