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Jun 7, 2012

Coastal Zone Summit covers from 2003 to 2011

The complexities of the state of the marine coastal environment are quickly evolving so an integrated plan that will incorporate various sectors is under discussion among key stakeholders of the environment. A first report was carried out in 1995 with periodic updates thereafter by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute. The reporting, however, was discontinued in 2003 because of economic hard times so the folks at the Authority are now playing catch-up with their latest report that attempts to cover much of what occurred between 2003 and 2011. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

 

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The State of Belize’s Coastal Zone is being discussed in a two-day summit. It has been eight years since the last analysis and report on how development and other factors affect the coast. According to Vincent Gillett, the C.E.O. of the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute, the information discussed at the summit will cover the period from 2003 to 2011.

 

Vincent Gillett

Vincent Gillett, C.E.O., Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute

“We are here because we understand that human impacts on the marine coastal environment are increasing in nature and complexity and the resilience of the Coastal Zone to respond to these pressures is being compromised. Governing structures for managing the coast are not evolving sufficiently or fast enough to respond is what is happening. Fragmentation and sectoral approaches are by and large the norm.”

 

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Dev.

“With two hundred and fifty miles of Coastal Line, Belize has every reason to join with thirty-five countries to celebrate our world’s oceans and our personal connection to our own part of one of these oceans.”

 

Lisel Alamilla

Minister Lisel Alamilla outlined some of the key areas of concern that have had the most impact in coastal areas.

 

Lisel Alamilla

“There are several factors or issues that impact the Coastal Zone; to name a few: agriculture, aquaculture, mining, tourism, housing and industry. The actual and potential impact of agriculture and aquaculture on our reef and coastal areas need to be closely monitored. The indiscriminate clearing of mangrove and mining of coastal and estuarial areas for tourism development and housing is a constant menace, affecting not only the spawning areas for fishes, the coastal defense from storm surges, but most importantly affecting the reef and the livelihoods of fisher folks and coastal zone residents.”

 

Vincent Gillett

“We need a new paradigm, one that is strategic, integrated and cross sectoral. We at the zone recognize that an exercise such as this summit is going to help us get to the new point where environmental integrity, sustenance and sustainable livelihoods will be the norm.”

 

Those issues and more are expected to be addressed in an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan. A synopsis of the draft plan was presented today for input from the stakeholders.

 

Chantalle Clarke

Chantalle Clarke, coastal Planner, Coastal Zone Management Authority

“It is essentially a planning framework that calls for national action that will ultimately improve how we manage our coastal resources base to ultimately also maintain their ecological integrity and ensure that we continue to benefit from those ecosystem services. I’d also like to point out that this plan signals a paradigm shift from that level of sectoral planning that our C.E.O. spoke about this morning.”

 

Coastal planner Chantalle Clarke, explains that the ICZM plan works hand in hand with government’s national development plan.

 

Chantalle Clarke

“The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan presents a national planning strategy that is compatible with the consolidated national view of many stakeholders long term vision for sustainable development in Belize as articulated in the government-commissioned Horizon 2030 National Development framework for Belize.”

 

Lisel Alamilla

“This plan will be further strengthened by all the issues raised here today, whether they are updates on ecosystems, habitat status or whether they relate to habitat management or Coastal Development or financing integrated coastal zones.”

 

Aside from Clarke, there are another twenty-five presenters with papers categorized by themes including climate change, legislation and finance. It’s a lot of information to work with, but Minister Alamilla committed to the cause at this morning’s opening ceremony.

 

Lisel Alamilla

“Today, I reiterate my government’s commitment to integrated Coastal Zone Management. My ministry will champion your concerns as long as it considers the three pillars of sustainable development, namely; environment, social and economic development.”

 

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

 

The summit concludes on Friday. 

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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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1 Response for “Coastal Zone Summit covers from 2003 to 2011”

  1. Lightburn says:

    What next is on the agenda to stop? any new developments?

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