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Jul 16, 2012

APAMO elects new executive at Annual General Meeting

The Association of Protected Areas Management Organization, APAMO, held its fifth annual general meeting on Friday where stakeholders discussed a range of issues pertaining to the environment, natural resources and sustainable development.  Other important topics included the management of protected areas within the tourism framework.  According to APAMO Chairman Edilberto Romero, the environment, namely Belize’s terrestrial and marine protected areas, is the bedrock for tourism.  

 

Edilberto Romero, Chairman, APAMO

Edilberto Romero

“APAMO is celebrating five years of formal establishment and today we’re having our annual general meeting.  This year we’re doing it a little different in that we’ve brought a couple presentations.  In the morning, one is the managed access for fisheries, where the Fisheries [Department] along with our APAMO members and another organization are piloting managing access to Port Honduras and Glovers Reef area.  The idea is to study the number of fishermen fishing there, the volume of catch and determine whether the population is going down or going up or sustaining itself.  If it’s sustaining itself then that’s fine.  If it’s going up then that means that more fishermen could be added to it and that would be good, but if it’s going down then that would mean that it has to be some, it needs some adjustments which could be that the volume of catch allowed should be less.  But it’s a project that’s in its pilot phase, it’s too early to tell.  There will need to be couple of years before the trend is determined and so we’re very happy that that project is going on.  The other one is the Tourism Master Plan that was presented to us by the Ministry of Tourism.  As you know, the protected areas are the basis of tourism so it’s very important for us and we’re very grateful to the Ministry of Tourism for making that presentation and hopefully, if all is well, APAMO can endorse it if all the members agree to it so we can collaborate and make sure that tourism is developed in a more sustainable manner that benefits protected areas since protected areas are the bases for tourism.”

 

Amanda Burgos Acosta, Executive Director of the Belize Audubon Society, was elected to be APAMO’s vice chairman.  Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director of SATIIM, was elected treasurer, and Nelli Catzim, of Southern Environmental Association, was named secretary during the AGM.

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