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Nov 2, 2016

OCEANA VP Says Legislation for Moratorium is a Firmer Option

As we reported, the Cabinet met last week to consider the plans for legislating the moratorium on activities related to offshore exploration for petroleum and conditions for lifting that moratorium. Following that sitting, Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia has confirmed that the moratorium and conditions originally proposed last year will remain in place, though he argues that there should be an exception for testing what is present in our waters. But environmentalists appear not to be taking his word for it. At Tuesday’s public meeting hosted by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, OCEANA vice-president Janelle Chanona reiterated that their proposed bill of legislation for the moratorium is a firmer option.

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Vice-President, OCEANA Belize

“When Minister Heredia announced in San Pedro that the seismic at that time was suspended, he told us that the following Tuesday’s cabinet meeting that that specific document was going to be discussed. I can tell you that one month later we have not gotten any notice, update, formal announcement anything indicating what Cabinet’s discussion resulted in on that document. And as I said one of the conditions that we set out in that was that for the moratorium to be lifted, one of the things that should happen is a national binding referendum. So they have had that for more than a year, but there is no update. So we can give you copies of the Draft Bill; you can certainly get that. And if you are in support of what it says, we would encourage you to send that to your area representatives, to anybody that you can get to; to share it with your friends and families, to anybody in the tourism sector, anybody in the fisheries sector and they can write it to whomever and say I support what this Bill says and I would like to see this Bill legislated.”

 

Chanona also notes that those who support a blanket ban on offshore oil can write in to say so as well.

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