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Jan 24, 2012

Rosewood permits considered for new areas

There have been enough controversial issues that have sparked heated public debate. And while the rampant extraction of rosewood in the Toledo District lost its spotlight to the immigration and S.S.B. scandals, it was brought back to the front burner today. In fact, rosewood was discussed in this morning’s Cabinet meeting following reports that contracts have been awarded to front men for a highly connected minister. So a team from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment will conduct a stock survey and assessment to determine what is left of the rosewood trees and how much illegal activity has taken place. It doesn’t say if there will be any penalties for the illegal activity but the Toledo Conservation NGOs will be invited to participate in the exercise. Well, the logging will continue since Cabinet decided that the current permits will be maintained until the close of the season in June. Cabinet agreed that royalties will be increased immediately to allow the Forest Department to hire additional staff for better policing. But here’s the kicker, Cabinet says the issuance of Rosewood extraction permits may still be considered for areas that have not yet been harvested. This morning, well known conservationist from Toledo, Wil Maheia, who has been at the front lines of the denuding of the forests, said he believed there is corruption in the ranks that has allowed the illegal logging to become a booming trade.

Wil Maheia

Wil Maheia, Conservationist

“I think it has protection at the top, at the top levels. I’m talking at the ministerial level. It has to have that kind of protection. Everyone knows about rosewood, yet the most powerful ministers—the rosewood is going up north; it’s going to Orange Walk and Corozal. That’s where some of the most powerful ministers are from. It’s where the chief forest officer comes from. This thing, I’m telling you right now that corruption is at the top and I would just hope that the Belizean people would have had enough of this and say look, we’ve got to do something about this because I mean like you go there—two weeks ago I went to Barranco by sea. It seems like they’ve finished all the rosewood along the roads now and they’re bringing it out by sea right now. I saw—I might have sent you some pictures where they have some rosewood that’s on the side of the dock ion Barranco. That can’t come from any place but the Sarstoon Temash National Park.”

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3 Responses for “Rosewood permits considered for new areas”

  1. Excuses says:

    Clear cut Belize!!! The Corruption Officers need extra money, they work hard at night and day.
    Minister and back bencher pay not enough. Tough times.
    Pass an amendment, people and courts must shut up.
    Someday crumbs, 30 pennies for water and electric.
    Give away home loans to deserving.
    Ignorant people and courts must shut up.

  2. home grown says:

    Corruption Officers need money.

  3. Jose Acosta says:

    Everyone knows to whom the Rosewood license were issued..the Vegas have a hand in it just check the registry of companies. Now the Ministry of Nat Resources and the Environment will investigate to see if any illegaL STUFF WAS DONE…come on Dean Barrow …its like the rat the mind the cheese…you can’t have your own ministry di investigate you…you beta come with something better than dat…

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