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Apr 22, 2013

SATIIM says rosewood being cut during amnesty

The public furor over government’s rosewood amnesty has not died down. In fact, on Friday the flames were fanned by a very strong release from the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. The organization is calling on the government to immediately rescind the amnesty, saying it is only serving to perpetuate a vicious cycle of the destruction of our precious resources for short term gain. For SATIIM, the problem lies in government’s failure to put in place critical components to monitor and structure the amnesty, and that has resulted in widespread cutting of rosewood. The release calls it a rosewood cutting bonanza. SATIIM goes further to provide pictures and GPS locations of rosewood that has been cut during the amnesty, some of which it says has already been sold. SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc told News Five that they have seen the evidence of free for all cause by Government’s amnesty.

 

Via Phone: Greg Ch’oc, Executive Director, SATIIM

Greg Ch’oc

“As part of our work on the ground both in the park and in the communities, we have been out in the forest, in the fields, and we have encountered these illegal cutting and hence we said that it is in fact what some of the other organizations are saying. Belizean cutting is happening. It is not only taking stacks of the flitches that have been cut previously, a year or so. I outlined for conditions I believed the government should have put in place to ensure the effectiveness of the amnesty. The absence of these measures is resulting in the illegal activity ongoing right now. A lot of things can be said about the motive behind it. I think anyone analyzing what is happening on the ground and trying to reconcile that with the rationale behind the government decision can make conclusion to the specific of the issues that you are bringing—whether it is something motivated by corruption or not. I think that people will draw their conclusion. Certainly, our position is to put the evidence out there. We have more evidence that we have in our position. And if the government is serious that they will deploy the kind of resources or they will rescind the moratorium as quickly as possible. I think our position is clear.”

 

The four areas in which government dropped the ball, according to SATIIM, are one, they did not identify a location in which the rosewood would be stored and guarded; two, they did not ensure that no rosewood is purchased or transported at night; three, they did not place strategic checkpoints to monitor transportation of rosewood and four, they did not identify and license the agents who would purchase the previously cut flitches.

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2 Responses for “SATIIM says rosewood being cut during amnesty”

  1. NY says:

    These organizations have show how ignorant the GOB really is. The ministers responsible for this putting this amnesty together, have illustrated how inept they really are.

  2. Storm says:

    GOB is not ignorant when it comes to illegal schemes to steal, it is COMPLICIT.

    I don’t know why SATIM and others just wring their hands and watch their resources being stolen under their noses — form patrols, catch the illegal loggers, and arrest them under the citizen arrest powers of the Constitution. If you won’t protect your own interests, who should do it for you?

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