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Apr 15, 2013

50/50 profit split, but Lisel Alamilla says it was cabinet decision

And from the rosewood which was under government lock and key, to all those countless board feet which were in hiding because of the moratorium and are now coming to light under amnesty. With the decision becoming public while Minister Alamilla was out of the country, many speculated that it was a case of ‘while the cat’s away…’ but today Alamilla dispelled that notion defending Cabinet’s decision and took the responsibility for the slip by her ministry to make the information public before GIV carted away the confiscated rosewood from the forestry department compound. Freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the official story on the rosewood, finally.

 

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry

“The events of the past week have understandably given cause for concern. The decision and actions were taken with full cognizance that the decision, while not being a popular one, was with the best interest to resolve an impasse in the local rosewood trade.”

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

And while Alamilla admits that Cabinet realized the decision was not exactly politically smart, she explained that Belize has signed onto the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, and it was something which had to be done.

 

Lisel Alamilla

Lisel Alamilla

“On March fourteenth, 2013, at the sixteenth session of the conference of parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild flora and fauna, all the countries in the world made an unprecedented and unanimous decision to regulate the international trade of rosewood. The decision affects Belize’s local rosewood population and requires the proper accounting of the current volumes of harvested rosewood material as a prerequisite for an eventual sale. A commitment to a science based approach to guide the sustainable management of an existing rosewood populationand that the harvest of rosewood for local or export market requires legitimate management tools and permitting systems. The CITES decision directly limits and affects the exportation of rosewood in its raw form, as logs or flitches, lumber, veneer and plywood sheets.With this in mind, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development undertook to institute and amnesty period on all harvested rosewood in possession by the government and in private hands. The purpose of the amnesty is to allow all those persons in possession of rosewood material to declare it to the Forest Department.”

 

Alamilla took responsibility for the decision, but stated that Belize will do what is necessary to be in compliance with CITES guidelines.

 

Lisel Alamilla

“I see the amnesty period as essential to ensure that the Forest Department accounts for the remaining volumes of harvested rosewood material and to permit the eventual sale and export. This decision has been discussed and endorsed by Cabinet. It is essential to conduct this activity within the shortest possible time, provide all the necessary records and account for all the material which has been declared, as well as to provide reports and accounts on all the material that has been confiscated by the Forest Department. The Forest Department is presently carrying out the necessary groundwork which includes conducting measurements, supervising movement of rosewood and documenting the transfer of rosewood at every step. The Forest Department under the Ministry’s oversight will also undertake to review applications for the export of rosewood once the proper records and documentation are provided. I want to be clear and explicit that rosewood not declared for entry into the local or export market during this amnesty period will be illegal and ineligible for export at any point in the future. The restrictions for trade of this species are clear and Belize will be in compliance with the trade regulations as per CITES.”

 

So what does that mean for the rosewood currently awaiting export under this new amnesty and export policy?

 

Lisel Alamilla

“How that we have gotten this rosewood listed on Appendix two, what you have to do is collect all the information. So we can’t ship it one at a time. We have to get the entire volume that is available, then we have to report to CITES Secretariat that we have two hundred thousand board foot of rosewood, then we will issue CITES certificate for those two hundred thousand board foot at a time. Whatever people come in, they want to send a container, a container will usually take about nine thousand board foot if its filled properly, and then it goes reducing from the two hundred thousand, and when it gets to the two hundred thousand you can’t trade in it, because then what kicks in is that you have to then report to CITES that you have conducted your inventory, that you have done your scientific work to say that as a country we are able to continue to trade in rosewood because the species is not at risk for extinction.”

 

Mike Rudon for News Five.

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2 Responses for “50/50 profit split, but Lisel Alamilla says it was cabinet decision”

  1. Bear says:

    Everyone who voted on this criminal act should be locked up. They all betrayed the people of the Jewel.

    Crooks and traitors are running the government, and we need to put a stop to it.

    Brigadier Jones swore to defend the nation and its constitution. Now he’s working for nothing but a criminal syndicate. He should lock them all up and start things over honestly.

    If nobody in BDF is patriotic enough to act, the citizens should strike and throw them all out.

  2. BVDC caracol lane says:

    It’s your right as a citizen to be concerned how and on what your resources are spent. It doesn’t belong to the government, it belongs to you, and the government belongs to you too. The people who work in government are there at your mercy, because you have the power to vote people into office who can terminate their jobs. If the government feels like Vega would do a better job maximizing the profit then them themselves need give up their jobs. In Belize their business ventures work good based on corruption but in the international market they are just as good as a regular man. This job should had been open up for the public and given to the best plan. I always believed that there were a few smart people in the government but they are getting dumb by the minute.

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