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Nov 27, 2003

Coastal Zone Authority seeks self-sustainability

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Today, a two-day workshop to explore financial sustainability of integrated coastal zone management in Belize came to an end at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. C.Z.M.A.I.’s board of directors have been given a number of recommendations that would allow them to be able to continue their work on behalf of Belize’s coastal resources. Five years of financial assistance from the United Nations helped to establish a costal management programme in Belize, but next year that project comes to an end. According C.E.O. Imani Morrison, it’s time to act on the issue of institutional self-preservation.

Imani Morrison, Chief Executive Officer, C.Z.M.A.I.

“If you remember, earlier this year the government approved integrated coastal zone strategy for Belize which is beyond what the project was suppose to do. The strategy indicates how we are going to sustainable manage the resources of Belize for the next five years. So we need to ensure that we have financial resources to implement that programme, basically. So while the projects are completing, the agency still has a responsibility for implementing the strategy and for ensuring sustainable use of the resources.

“I think the meeting was very productive. The participants gave meaningful recommendations, some short term, medium term, and long term measures and certainly highlighted the critical areas or identified how we can remove some of the barriers for sustainability, highlighted what were the preferred avenues, what would be the recommendations made, ensuring that the recommendations weren’t burdensome on any one sector, and really approached it as comprehensively as they could in the time that had to deliberate the matters.”

News 5 understands that one of the recommendations has to do with the implementation of a coastal departure charge for cruise ship passengers coming to Belize. Morrison says it costs her agency two million dollars to conduct activities for marine protected areas and another one point eight million dollars for C.Z.M.A.I.’s other operations.

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