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Jan 22, 2020

Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association Concerned about Land Trust

Valdemar Andrade

The agreement states that Turneffe Atoll Trust must maintain properties as a nature conservation reserve for the protection of nationally significant species, groups of species, biotic communities and physical features of the environment within the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. While in principle, Valdemar Andrade says that the protection of the national land is the goal, there are concerns.  


Valdemar Andrade, Executive Director, TASA

“Our immediate concerns are why weren’t we consulted? Will we be a part of the Trust Board that manages that seventeen thousand acres because that constitutes a huge portion of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. Also if you are selling seventeen thousand acres of land at two million U.S. that is about one hundred and seventeen U.S. dollars per acre for prime property because Turneffe is one of the three atolls that basically provides thirty million dollars worth of tourism, couple million dollars worth of fisheries, three hundred million dollars of shoreline protection for Belize City. So our concern definitely is that if you are going to ensure that it is entrusted in any institution that it be an institution of national significance because this patrimony belongs to the people of Belize. And so you have to ensure that at the end of the day, that entity. Why wasn’t the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, for example, why wasn’t it lodged with them? Or any other entity that would have a national scope? Or with us? It can be with us as well, but we would prefer an entity with national scope at the end of the day.”

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