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Dec 30, 2004

BTIA offers CZMAI MGT advice

Earlier this month, a project proposal spearheaded by local investors involving the Belizean barrier reef, which included building platforms at various points along the reef between Caye Caulker and South Water Caye, snorkeling trails, guides and proper bathroom facilities, triggered a flurry of negative publicity that appears to have all but drowned the idea. But the reality is that the current managers of the barrier reef, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute is still strapped for cash and while administrators maintain that they will “never give up its mandate to safeguard the reef” the authority is still accepting bids outlining practical solutions for revenue generation. Today, the Belize Tourism Industry Association has put forward its proposal. In a press release issued today, the BTIA stated, “the fortunes of the CZMAI should not hinge on one developer or development and neither should the domain of public resources and interests be confused, compromised or obliterated by individual commercial interest.” Among its recommendations, the BTIA maintains that the CZMAI needs to self sufficient with proper resources and effective leadership in order to carry out is mandate. BTIA is also highlighting what it views as a need for a governing act and board of directors, which would then lead the charge for an emergency fundraising drive. The BTIA maintains that its overall aim is to make all Belizeans the main beneficiaries of a healthy barrier reef through an integrated coastal zone management.

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