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Nov 15, 2016

SATIIM Says Oversight of National Park Needs G.O.B. Intervention

Froyla Tzalam

Since losing its co-management agreement in July 2013, SATIIM has been virtually on its own as far as monitoring illegal activities within the expansive broadleaf, wetland and mangrove forest.  The fact that the organization is operating without official sanction leaves its rangers vulnerable to encounters with GAF soldiers.  Tzalam, who took over from former Executive Director Greg Ch’oc in 2014, is now calling on government to come to the table to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement for oversight of the national park.


Froyla Tzalam, Executive Director, SATIIM

“One of the issues, okay, if you go back in time, SATIIM use to have a co-management agreement with the government and one of the benefits of having that co-management agreement was that we would have government security accompany us.  We don’t have that agreement anymore and I would like for us, SATIIM and the government, to come up with an agreement that says they will have security people accompany us because whether we like it or not, we are the only presence in the park, whatever information we gather we send it back to the Forestry Department.  So whenever we go on patrol Forestry gets a report of that and so I think that it’s very good that we are allowed to share this information with Belizeans; however, we cannot continue collecting that data as it is without some other arrangement from the [Ministry of ] Foreign Affairs and I think that they and the security personnel, B.D.F., have that responsibility and I think the time has come for us to sit down, I will be approaching them shortly to see if we can work out something because we are doing a great job and we want to continue doing that, but I think now the responsibility lies on the shoulder of our government to provide us the support we need to do our work effectively.”


A release from the Government of Belize earlier today says that authorities are following up with Guatemalan counterparts to get clarification on the recent incident in the Sarstoon.

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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