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Nov 3, 2016

OCEANA Pans Minister’s Comparison of Belize with Ecuador on Petroleum

On Monday, Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Junior, while confirming that Government is committed to maintaining its moratorium on offshore petroleum exploration activity, remained insistent that Belize needed to at least move toward exploring its opportunities with petroleum under the sea bed. His comments come in the wake of Government suspending operations by an international company, TGS, into conducting surveys on the seabed because of objections from the environmental community. Heredia used the example of Ecuador, a South American country that pursued a possible five billion dollars’ worth of black gold. But at what cost? That is the other side of this story, as explained by OCEANA Vice President Janelle Chanona during Tuesday’s public consultation, which was hosted by the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism [File: October 31st, 2016]

“On the other side, I challenge OCEANA…we cannot just say we don’t want this, we don’t want the other. I gave them an example in Ecuador. In Ecuador, the government feels that it had five billion dollars’ worth of petroleum underneath their reserves and they were determined to exploit it because there are hundreds and thousands of people that need jobs. Tourism on its own cannot sustain this country. Banana citrus, sugar cane are already on the decline—the prices are getting worse. So there has to be some other type of development. The way a government survives is either by additional investment coming in or taxation to the people.”

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Vice President, OCEANA Belize

“I cringed yesterday hearing Ecuador being used as an example. Please go home and Google Ecuador and oil. And you will see that one of the worst – I’m talking bigger than BP, bigger than what happened in Alaska, in terms of oil has been unfolding in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where Chevron not just messed up the Amazonian resources; but the tribes there were able to show that this was deliberate; this was not an accident on a rig, or a ship running aground and creating an accident. This court case has revealed that there was intentional, deliberate actions on the part of the company, to compromise this environment and disregard the impact on the resources and the people. So please go home and Google that for yourselves and investigate.”

 

According to Chanona, Chevron has refused to pay a judgement awarded to Ecuador, saying that hell will freeze over and they will skate on it before doing so.

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1 Response for “OCEANA Pans Minister’s Comparison of Belize with Ecuador on Petroleum”

  1. Jake says:

    Go ahead KILL THE REEF mom and pop do not the backing that chevron they will just laugh!!!
    According to Chanona, Chevron has refused to pay a judgement awarded to Ecuador, saying that hell will freeze over and they will skate on it before doing so.
    This is the largest “living” REEF in the WORLD TOURISM NOT GGOOOOPP

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