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Mar 8, 2011

Environmental Summit held in Punta Gorda

John Carr

OCEANA today took its campaign to the south of the country with an oil summit in Punta Gorda where the community is already fighting with the government over a contract issued to Capital Energy, a U.S. company. They claim the contract was only for seismic testing, but now G.O.B. contends that the courts have provided clearance for oil drilling.  The speakers at the summit today covered the legal aspects, the power Ministers have to issue contracts, and a slew of other issues relating to oil drilling.  Poised on a platform to increase awareness, including within indigenous communities on the threats oil development can have on the environment and humans, the organization had the participation of notable individuals.

John Carr, Public Speaker

“This whole meeting here is not about I’m going to beat you or you’re going to beat me. All you really are looking for is to be treated fair. Is that right? (yeah) You really want to be treated fair. You don’t want people to take from you what is not theirs and visa-versa. That’s what it’s all about.   They can come through my property and seismic investigation and leave trails through my property and put some dynamite shots in to do seismic work to find their best chance of finding oil. I don’t have any choice and I don’t get any money out of it. We can’t predetermine how much the damage is going to be. We have to wait ‘til it’s over and it’s just not fair.”

Greg Ch’oc, Exec. Dir., SATIIM

Greg Ch'oc

“We put the cart before the horse. Many of us in our community also think about the same way. Make we agree, make we see weh wah happen. We wah get lee bit. And we never get lee bit; we never get nothing and they keep doing it over and over and over. And I ask the question: when will we as Belizeans say no, enough? If you noh wah put on paper, legally binding contract, that this dah weh ih wah do fi me, get the hell outta my place. Because whether the oil comes or not, they could be taking another fifty million dollars of oil in Sarstoon Temash and if we do not fight for our share, we’ll forever be probably worse than where we are right now. At least we have the land to go and farm, at least we have the rivers to go and fish; to fend for ourselves. Now if we lose the ladn and lose the river and lose the wildlife, then what do we get? We end up losing everything.”

Neri Briceno

Neri Briceno, Has Worked In Oil Industry

“Most people in Belize and even the layman per say, doesn’t understand how the industry operate and hence the reason they can cloud a lot of the truth they tell the people. Because if you ask a sixth form student probably what is seismic testing, he has no idea what it is. So they can come and say listen, for seismic testing I’ll employ a hundred people when in actuality they’ll only need probably five or ten people.”

Leonard Reimer, Activist, Spanish Lookout

“They just told us that they had permitted the oil company to do testing again which they have done in the past forty years a couple times to test the same thing again. But now it’s different. We have people, they have moved out because of the pollution because they were afraid it would attack their health.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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7 Responses for “Environmental Summit held in Punta Gorda”

  1. Revolution says:

    Is anyone listening to these bunch of clowns? Nothing anyone of them said makes any sense or even justifies why the people of Belize should even consider discouraging oil exploration. Drill baby drill.

  2. kikaC says:

    Toledo is forgotten place isn’t one of their cries. Here now companies coming to open success and economic benefit, why not support it. the time is now. What difference does it make even we do’n't allowed it, our grandchildren will regret and suffer in the years to come f 2012 doom us. why not benefit now than later. come on. stop the nonsense. That is only section of our natural resources and there is always a risk no matter what. advantage and disadvantage in anything but we only need to take precaution and meassures. we had it lets make use of it. drilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

  3. BZNinCALI says:

    Thanks Revolution, I heard people talking out of both sides of their mouths. We don’t want drilling unless we can get our share but we cloak it under the guise of concern for the environment. That’s the reason we continue to be treated like idiots.

  4. Lucas says:

    My father used to say: THE FISH IS CAUGHT BY THE MOUTH. All this environmental concerns has been to clock greediness. Thanks Greg for telling us the truth. Honestly, I agree with you that the people of Toledo should get their fair share and so do all Belizeans. That is what we all should be fighting for: A BETTER SHARE OF OUR NATIONAL WEALTH but please, do not try to sell me a cat telling me it is rabbit.

  5. P.G GYAL says:

    nothing is wrong with development, a country needs development for it to better off the quality of life for its ppl, but what is development if the plan is not tested properly, what is development if the fruits of such labors are deposited into the deep pockets of those selfish politicians? what is development if we are left in mayhem when this golden goose turns out to be an ugly duckling? Yes KikaC we cry that we are the forgotten district when it comes to infrastructure, health services, ect but we are no fools when it comes to oil drilling, we are well aware of the consequences if it is not planned thoroughly.The U.S still cannot clean up thier mess what makes you think Belize can?? pls!… so this is something that should be tested caarefully…dnt see how we will benefit am still waiting to see how the Chalillo dam is benefiting our electricity bills……………..if anything bills are going up and as well as the power outages…lol`

  6. rasman says:

    I know those who support oil drilling now position will change when the party that is giving them the job now is kick out and they lose their job. They will not be saying drill baby drill. The tune would have change. Such is life and hence we find ourselves in the positin.

  7. rasman says:

    what the !@#$

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