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Mar 20, 2014

Cooperative agreement to be established between Belize and Guatemala forestry officials

Alexis Rosado

Illegal logging, as well as the prohibited trade of rosewood, across both sides of the Belize/Guatemala border has grown to become an international matter for the governments of both countries.  While Guatemalan loggers are responsible for the extensive clearing of trees within the department of Peten, they are also encroaching deeper into Belizean territory in search of prized lumber. As we said, in early February, an illicit operation conducted by harvesters within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, yielded an undisclosed number of rosewood flitches.  The men, believed to be Guatemalan nationals, were discovered inside the protected area by a group of SATIIM rangers.  Despite the fact that the loggers made good their escape, C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, told the media this afternoon that a cooperative agreement has to be established among forestry officials between Belize and Guatemala in order to monitor the situation.

 

Alexis Rosado, CEO, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“The trade in illegal logwood, that’s an area where we will have to find ways of collaborating.  As you know, the Peten area has experienced some serious deforestation over the years and so they know what we are talking about when we tell them we are concerned about what is taking place in the Chiquibul.  They too are taking measures to stem the deforestation on their side.  We have a meeting being arranged between our forestry officials and their forestry officials.  In fact, I said earlier that we are working on a draft proposal for cooperating on the environmental front.  But the problem we have right now is that there are no structures in place, no systemic way of collaborating and that is what we are trying to address right now.  Whereas our forestry people may know their forestry people, they’re mostly relationships that are done at the personal level, not at the institutional level and that is what we’re trying to do.  So that when you have these problems they could just pick up the phone and they will have the direct number for their counterparts on the other side.  So we will start to have to develop a habit of cooperation in these areas that are of concern to both sides.”

 

Later in the newscast, we will have a report on the review of a forestry agreement taking place that is intended to curb the plunder of natural resources. 

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1 Response for “Cooperative agreement to be established between Belize and Guatemala forestry officials”

  1. Belize Intact! says:

    Another expensive cooperation that will probably cost the Belizean people more tax dollars!
    ALL dat is needed for Belize to do is just properly MAN the borders Alexis! These encroachments
    would never had happened if Government was doing the right thing and putting in BDF to
    patrol and MAN our borders instead of having them minding a few gangsters in Belize City!

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