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Dec 2, 2015

Tourism Minister Vague on Offshore Drilling Ban

N.G.O.s have been clamoring for a number of years to ban oil exploration off the coast of Belize altogether. One of the many initiatives includes a people’s referendum to which thousands of Belizeans signed up to disallow offshore oil exploration on February twenty-fourth, 2012.  The ban at seven World Heritage Sites comprises a total of four hundred and forty-eight square miles, particularly the fragile Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which spans the country’s coastline. These designated areas are also renowned tourist destinations that would have been imperiled because of offshore drilling.  According to Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, despite not being a member of the special-purpose group that presides over the issue, the decision will certainly benefit the tourism industry.


Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

“There is a subcommittee that sits and is dealing with that one together with the pertinent authorities involved, you know, so I will reserve that one for the people in charge.”



“But do you feel that such a decision will have any kind of, albeit positive effect in terms of tourism which is your ministry?”


Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia

“Yeah, well definitely I believe that whatever is done in the interest of, if it’s done in the interest of the country and whatever is done together in consultation with the partners around I believe that it will definitely be for the interest of the industry or for the country as a whole.”


In a formal release issued earlier today, OCEANA in Belize commends government for its newfound position, stating, “the decision taken today by the G.O.B. reflects recognition of what the people of Belize have been asking for years: the protection of job security, food security and cultural identity.”

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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