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Nov 10, 2011

Gulf of Honduras to eliminate pollution

You heard about the Gulf of Honduras Project back in October when directors announced that they were pressing full speed ahead to stop pollution in the gulf that is shared by Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. As a follow up, a workshop was held today to discuss an environmental analysis and the strategic plan of action, which are two major components of the multi-million dollar project. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

What do Belize, Guatemala and Honduras have in common?  The Gulf of Honduras and a shared mission to eliminate pollution and maritime damage in that area of the Caribbean Sea. Today a workshop was held by the Gulf of Honduras Project to discuss two important aspects of the initiative.

Edas Munoz Galeano, Director, Gulf of Honduras Project

Edas Munoz Galeano

“What we are having today here is a workshop and we are going to discuss the environmental analysis assessment of the Gulf of Honduras, which is called the Environmental Diagnostic Analysis and this is the base for the strategic action plan for the Gulf of Honduras. These two documents are related with the aim to promote the economic development and the environmental sustainability of the Gulf of Honduras. That’s why we are consulting here with the different sectors of the Belizean society.”

Melvin Hulse, Minister of Ports

“It involves eighty percent of what we do. It involves shipping transportation and movement of cargo and running on the reef and things like that, garbage, putting in oils during travel. And so that is—as Minister of Ports, and being along with my counterparts that signed onto this thing with the global fund and directed by IDB for the Gulf of Honduras to try and make it a better, safer place; putting checks and balances, make sure we don’t mess up the environment there and put in those features that will help us make movements better and safer.”

Project Director, Edas Munoz Galeano says that there is room for improvement, but the implementation of the strategic action plan will tie up the loose ends.

Edas Munoz Galeano

“The strategic action plan is already complete. We have just started socializing it and we are trying to get the input from people in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras in order to finish the final draft of the SAP and then once it’s finished we are going to hand it over to the governments for them to get the political endorsement and hopefully in the future they will use this plan as a guide to make decisions for project development, strategy development or whatever they think is the most appropriate decisions for the area.”

Melvin Hulse

Minister of Ports, Melvin Hulse is pleased with the progress that Belize’s Ports have been making.

Melvin Hulse

“Port has really tightened up and we’re trying to create—we have a hydrographic board now. We have started to map all the seas, the floor beds of Belize and that will give us really new and improved navigational charts with the ultimate goal of eventually having highways both for local and international. We have increased all the communication facilities up in Baldy Beacon, twenty-four hours a day we monitor every ship that comes through our waters; watch them, monitor them, make them aware at sea. We have increased our navigational lights; they used to be three miles, I’ve done it to ten miles visibility. We are improving—we’re putting more buoys out there, we’re putting more and getting our towers to work better.  What we bring in is to take us to another level because we’re going to get there. We don’t do anything that is totally going to be dependent: “bwai yoh come? Yeah bwai”. Everybody bright eyed, bushy tailed and then you go and the thing crash. That dah noh this.”

Both Hulse and Munoz agree that it takes a collaborated effort to sustain the development that has resulted from the Gulf of Honduras Project.

Melvin Hulse

“People involved with sea, whether it’s the cruise, locals taking around tourists and things like that, people who are fishing, people who are dealing with ships and the Port; we need to understand that we can make our business grow without messing up the place you know.”

Edas Munoz Galeano

“It’s important for the whole society to get more involved in these discussions because whatever we do or whatever is lacking to do it affects us as a whole. So we need to be proactive, we need to be involved, we need to be participating in these discussions in order to reflect in this document all our hopes and desires for the future.”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

The project was launched in February 2006 with a five year time frame and a budget of seven point two million dollars.

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1 Response for “Gulf of Honduras to eliminate pollution”

  1. Major Jones says:

    And this is our Minister of Ports? God help Belize!

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