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Nov 4, 2016

Government responds to environmentalists on moratorium

The Government of Belize has responded to the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, putting aside for now the issue of legislating the currently policy-based moratorium on activities relating to exploring for petroleum offshore Belize. C.E.O. in the Ministry Economic Development and Petroleum Yvonne Hyde has written to say that Government is satisfied that it has met or is meeting most of the eight criteria listed by OCEANA, and that the moratorium remains in place until three remaining conditions are met. However, the Government is committing to a ban on the issuance of all oil exploration concessions within the seven World Heritage Sites as well as petroleum exploration, drilling and seismic activities within one kilometre, less than a mile, on either side of the Barrier Reef and legislating same. Speaking for the Coalition, executive director of the Belize Audubon Society, Amanda Burgos Acosta details the result and what it means.

 

Amanda Burgos-Acosta, Executive Director, Belize Audubon Society

“It was the contingency plan, it was moving the oil exploration from Schedule Two to Schedule One; so they are going to be moving that in the E.I.A. regulations; and the revision of the Petroleum Act. Those are the three conditions by which they will be amending and addressing in terms of before the lift of the moratorium.”

 

Reporter

“So the referendum that you had called for in relation to a national position on oil, that was not accepted?”

 

Amanda Burgos-Acosta

Amanda Burgos Acosta

“There was no comment as to legislation, and there was no comment in terms of the referendum. None of that was addressed within this letter.”

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