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Jul 29, 2013

APAMO says Minister Alamilla knows co-management deals are bad

Lisel Alamilla

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, last week chided some N.G.O.s including SATIIM and APAMO for not signing on to protected areas co-management agreements. The Minister’s statement came following SATIIM’s announcement that it had been thrown out of the Sarstoon Temash National Park which it continued to co-manage over the years based on a verbal agreement with G.O.B.  This afternoon, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations fired back during a press conference. APAMO’s Chairman, Edilberto Romero, clarified today that only four N.G.O.s had signed and some did so under duress. He called the co-management agreement a bad deal for protected areas and questioned why, if the co-managers were pushing for the signing in the first place, has it taken one year since Cabinet endorsed the document for all the co-managers to sign?  At today’s press conference he reiterated that it is because Cabinet made changes which are unacceptable to the co-managers that there is reluctance to sign.

 

Edilberto Romero, Chairman, APAMO

“We were asking for twenty-five years when they said oh, forty years is too long. So we said let’s agree to twenty-five years which is still reasonable. They didn’t agree to that at the national protected area technical committee where the Ministries adequately represented, we agreed to seven years and then they went around and changed it to five years. So definitely it is something that is not good for protected areas management. It is an issue that most if not all the co-managers had issues with that—even TIDE and YCT had issues with that even though they were the first ones to sign co-management agreement. She refused to answer this question and I think it is something that she should answer. The government can terminate the agreement if they are certain that you exceed the scope of the agreement. Now there is no definition on the co-management agreement of this. We take it that if you are vocal about issues that are affecting protected areas, they might terminate you.

Edilberto Romero

They might tell you that you are exceeding your scope of agreement. So this is an issue that we have a problem with. Look at the Chiquibul Forest. There is a presentation that was done by FCD and an area the size of Belize City has been destroyed by Guatemalans. And all kinds of illegal activities are going there several kilometers inside Belizean territory, several kilometers inside the Chiquibul Forest. In terms of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, SATIIM has been doing excellent work in protecting the area and those things are not happening like that. It is under control and not like the Chiquibul. So why is the minister preventing SATIIM from doing the good work that they are doing when they should be helping SATIIM to do the good work that they are doing? When the minister was at YCT, she said that she would not sign a co-management agreement with the same terms that she’s forcing the co-managers to sign. She said, she will not sign the co-management agreement with the same terms that she is putting pressure on the co-managers to sign. Why is she doing that? The majority of co-managers have problems with it. In fact when that was first presented to the APAMO members, all of the co-managers had problems with that. But she’s been threatening co-managers, even cursing co-managers, to sign those co-management agreements. She has her staff calling co-managers, threatening that if they don’t sign, they will be left out and will have nothing to do with the protected areas and they won’t be able to get funding from PACT. She has been using PACT as a way to force co-managers to sign co-management agreements. And because right now is the deadline for calls for proposals for PACT that’s why they have been doing that and that’s why it has come to light at this point.”

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2 Responses for “APAMO says Minister Alamilla knows co-management deals are bad”

  1. Citizen says:

    Alamilla again! They have been changing the goal post and have the power to do it at will. The divide and conquer rule will be played to the hilt. It’s the oldest game in the book. She should be more concern about paying us for our rose wood and seeing that it is protected for generations to come, but as per usual she is up to her own mischief. Who will gain this time around?

  2. GOB, trust them, or else! says:

    what is the problem with these pet dog organizations?
    why won’t they sign worthless contracts with GOB?
    what do you expect from a lying, worthless government?

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