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Nov 24, 2016

Height Rule at Caves Branch Has Failed, Says FECTAB President

President of FECTAB, Tom Greenwood, says it is now clear that the Belize Tourism Board and National Institute of Culture and History’s decision to implement a forty-inch rule for visitors to the Caves Branch Reserve a few years ago is an unmitigated failure, if not intended. He explained that even with FECTAB’s efforts, business at the reserve has dramatically decreased. He also spoke about keeping Norwegian Cruise Line and other cruise companies honest with regard to damage to Belize’s marine environment from untreated sewage.

 

Tom Greenwood

Tom Greenwood, President, FECTAB

“When the forty-inch…it was going to be forty-eight inch limited height rule came in, FECTAB fought hard, and brought it down to forty inches. Despite the fact that for twenty-three years – twenty-three years, native Belizean guides trained by NICH and the B.T.B., carried people through a high-risk event with zero injuries, zero events, zero injuries, we still had this hammered out at us, because we need to be safe. Putting in the forty-inch rule cut the business of tour guide and tour operators by almost sixty percent. That sixty-percent cut down means less taxes for the Government of Belize. So let me get this right: people appointed by the Government of Belize made rules and regulations that eventually cut down not only the business of local native Belizeans, but the taxation to Government. Put that in your hat, smoke that one. The U.S. government is going to find out, because of the background of cruise shipping; two hundred and forty-four ships dump fourteen billion – with a B – fourteen billion tons of sewage alone – we’re not talking garbage – of sewage alone worldwide. How much of that is being dumped in Belize? Where it is going? Do we need a helicopter to follow these ships and see where on our high seas it is being dumped? Where is the proper environmental clearance for this? There are authorities in the United States that can, and hopefully will, come down on Alcatraz like a ton of bricks.”

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