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May 29, 2002

Shell donates toward Toledo restoration

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Last October when Hurricane Iris passed over southern Belize, the storm not only destroyed buildings, but knocked down thousands of trees, ranging from newly planted citrus to ancient mahoganies. Trees Belize, a non-governmental organisation is about to embark on a reforestation project that promises to replant a significant portion of those trees that were lost. The work will centre on Monkey River Village where that community lost most of its forest to the storm. To help the organisation in its efforts, Shell Belize Limited today donated three thousand dollars towards the project. Shell’s Country Representative, Jose Habet, says after he was visited by Trees Belize Director, Thara Gamero-Blanco, the company did not hesitate to support the effort.

Jose Habet, Country Rep., Shell Belize

“Shortly after the hurricane, I had visited Monkey River with the doctors from Medical Associates on a humanitarian tour. I saw firsthand the devastation that took place there and based on that I decided we should help. Therefore, the reason we are making this contribution today.”

Thara Gamero-Blanco, Director, Trees Belize

“The project at Monkey River came about as a result of the deforestation that occurred there after Hurricane Iris. We had several people that had come to us and told us that they would like us to do a project in that area. So we contacted Shell and represented the project and they decided to give this donation to go ahead with the project. We’re working together jointly with the St. Steve Anglican Primary School in Monkey River.”

Jacqueline Woods

“When will the replanting start?”

Thara Gamero-Blanco

“The replanting will start in a couple of months. Firstly, we are doing an environmental presentation that’s coming this Monday. The students are going to be the ones doing almost all the work. They’re going to do their nursery, fill up the bags, plant the seeds, monitor seedling growths, water them and hopefully there’re going to be able to replant that.”

One thousand trees are expected to be planted at Monkey River. Gamero-Blanco says the community will decide on what kind of trees will be used. Assistance will also be given to tree nurseries in a number of other Toledo villages.

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