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Dec 14, 2017

Coalition Applauds Moratorium Passage

Jacinta Gomez

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is leading the congratulations for the National Assembly, whose members have adopted the Petroleum Operations (Maritime Zone Moratorium) Bill 2017. It now goes to the Governor General for his consent. But among all the plaudits are two outstanding concerns. One is how would the legislature handle a future decision to lift the moratorium. A press release issued by the Coalition notes that the legislation does not provide for public consultations in those circumstances, although in the normal course the standing House Committee may invite a call for public hearings on new Bills or amendments. But for now, the Coalition’s Jacinta Gomez, Outreach Program Director for OCEANA Belize told us via phone, they are satisfied that if that time comes the people’s wishes will not be ignored by the parliamentarians.

 

On the Phone: Jacinta Gomez, Outreach Program Director, OCEANA Belize

“The Prime Minister’s position was that we cannot fetter any future parliament, and the Coalition maintains our commitment to continued vigilance on this issue, so that any future parliament that is minded to lift the moratorium only does so with the consent and involvement of the Belizean public. So we are comforted that for seven years, the Belizean public has maintained its unwavering support on this issue, and we feel confident that given the extensive discussions in the House and in the Senate yesterday, the unanimous support from both houses, that if any future parliament decides that they want to lift the moratorium, that it will be done in a transparent manner and with the consent of the Belizean public.”

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