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Jan 20, 2015

COLA Sounds Alarm Over Petroleum Exploration Zones

The Geology and Petroleum Department has circulated a document entitled Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines. The department claims that it “recognized the need for a framework aimed at harmonizing petroleum exploration and environmental protection and tourism development in the onshore and offshore areas of Belize and the barrier reef system.” It’s only a draft, subject to input and recommendations, but already it’s caught the attention of watchdog organizations like OCEANA and COLA. There is objection to any notion of any harmony between petroleum exploration, offshore areas and the Barrier Reef system. Today, News Five spoke to COLA President Geovannie Brackett, who is sounding the alarm and calling on Belizeans to stand up and take note, because Brackett says where offshore drilling is concerned – no means no.


Geovannie Brackett

Geovannie Brackett, President, COLA

“What this document seems to do is acknowledge the fact that this whole country is sectioned out for oil exploration with no exception…and actually sanctioning that by saying that they are trying to harmonize that situation with that of the environment and tourism. That seems a bit crazy to us because that’s a pretty bad situation to be giving up the entire country up for oil exploration considering the fact that we have very important watersheds and the barrier reef. You will recall that we had a mock referendum along with the Coalition to Save Our Natural heritage where over twenty-thousand people came out to say no to offshore drilling. We can’t understand why the Prime Minister can’t give us a real referendum so the voices of the wider nation can be heard, but I think it is loud enough that people in Belize do not want offshore drilling. We are calling out our members in all areas of this country, along with other N.G.O.s, to read this document and to submit your concerns and recommendations by February second. We are informed that there is supposed to be another scheduled workshop by mid-February. Whatever the rush is to produce the last section of this document, we can’t understand, but COLA will definitely have to up the ante in relation to this. We can’t understand why this government is so eager to push ahead with offshore drilling. What we want to tell the Belizean people is the next time you go to the polls, ask your area representative – do you support offshore drilling? Because if you do, we will not vote for you.”


In a release issued today, COLA claims that in its greed for unconfirmed riches, the government has, “committed itself to an uncertain future for Belize’s national environment.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “COLA Sounds Alarm Over Petroleum Exploration Zones”

  1. jake says:

    What are they going to do with a spill they could not even contain a jet fuel leak from an airplane last month!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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