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Jan 20, 2015

Department of Environment Discusses New Communication Strategy

Two weeks ago, on January eighth, 2015, the Department of Environment and its partner agencies embarked on a new communication strategy with a workshop held for media representatives at the Baboon Sanctuary in Bermudian Landing. Well today, a follow up workshop was held at the Radisson in Belize City. The goal is to bring together representatives from government agencies with responsibilities for the environment and natural resource management to discuss a program to sensitize and build partnerships with the media. Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, spoke to News Five today about the new plan.

 

Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer, DOE

“What we are trying to achieve here is to have our staff in key government agencies prepared to know how to deal with technical issues in a professional manner with the media as partners rather than rivals. Yes there are certain issues or practices right now that may not be conducive to that good communication or building that partnership between media and government departments. And because we acknowledge those issues in the past and present is where we are trying to address at least the environmental natural resource management issues. Be prepared for it, know what is expected and that’s why we have—as you rightly mentioned—had a first step approached where we invited you guys from the media to the Baboon Sanctuary to get to know what we are thinking of and how best we can start that partnership. Today here is a second step where internally between government agencies and the staff trying to let them know what to look for, how to prepare for the media in interviews, talk shows, press releases, etc. and then at the end of the day, try to come up with ideas in terms of creating a communication strategy on environmental resource management issues.”

 

Duane Moody

“Not withholding information of course…”

 

Martin Alegria

Martin Alegria

“No, no, no. that should be part of the program. But again, the development of that communication strategy will take input from the media, it will take input from other government agencies and at the end of the day there is a government policy related to media and information being disseminated and those things will have to be taken into consideration.”

 

Duane Moody

“Sir do you see this moving to the point where these departments, these agencies, will have a communications personnel installed to ease the flow?”

 

Martin Alegria

“Those are ideas and concepts we are playing with. Notwithstanding, what I can speak for is our department of environment where we have designed a public awareness and information dissemination unit spearheaded by two good young ladies that are proactive and so on. But we need to move beyond that scenario to more of a communication person; not only for the department but for the ministry in general.”

 

The workshop is being facilitated by Communications Consultant, Daedra Haylock.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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