Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Economy, People & Places » San Jose Signs FPIC Protocol for Resilient Rural Belize Program
Aug 23, 2022

San Jose Signs FPIC Protocol for Resilient Rural Belize Program

An FPIC Protocol, the source of contention that has divided the Maya community in the wake of a consent order from the Caribbean Court of Justice, has been signed by residents of San Jose Village, Toledo District.  The endorsement of the document took place on Sunday, in the presence of government officials from the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Local Government and Labor, as well as the Ministry of Economic Development.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The village of San Jose, in Toledo District, has signed a Free, Prior and Informed Consent Agreement, a process that is a relatively new practice in Belize, for any activity to be implemented within that community and its environs.


Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Area Representative, Toledo West

“So you might ask the question, why San Jose and why not another community?  Because we recognize that San Jose is a very productive community.  You produce cacao, you produce vegetables, you produce grains, you produce livestock and you are also getting into cardamom and other grains.  So we have to find a way to support you so that you can also help yourself.”


In November 2018, the Government of Belize entered into an agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Green Climate Fund for a loan and a grant towards the implementation of the Resilient Rural Belize Program.  The initiative is a six-year program with an objective to minimize the impact of climate and economic events on smallholder farmers.


Oscar Requeña

“This is a very important process in which we as a people must come together, we must work together, we must join our hands together to bring development for the people of the Toledo District because thats what you want.  You want development, you want to see improvements, you want to see betterment in your lives and today this is setting the foundation for that process.”


The FPIC process, as it relates to the Resilient Rural Belize Program, is a road map that was developed using requirements from IFAD and GCF, as well as the Caribbean Court of Justice’s ruling in 2015, along with the Maya of Southern Belize FPI Consultation Protocol.


Gregory Ch’oc

Gregory Choc, Commissioner of Indigenous Peoples Affairs

“This is the first application of the FPIC Protocol and I am happy that San Jose villagers have come out to participate and exercise the right that the Government of Belize has ensured through the FPIC Protocol for you to exercise.”


On August twenty-first, eligible villagers consented to an Indigenous Peoples Plan and an FPIC agreement which specify the way forward, including how the project will be implemented, the benefits shared, and a grievance mechanism.


Greg Ch’oc

“FPIC is a right that you have.  The Government of Belize has recognized and has put your right into what is called an FPIC Protocol.  The policy document elaborates the series of procedures to exercise your right.  I am happy today to see the villagers, as is customary, for the Maya communities in Toledo, that the villagers and not the leaders are the authority to make decisions about the future of their community. And I hope that the project will bring about the kind of development that you have all agreed to.  I want to give a word of caution, the government has a duty to respect your right, but you as the villagers also have a responsibility to work with the respect agencies of government so that the collective objective comes about.”


The signing of the consent agreement was witnessed by representatives of the Ministry of Rural Transformation, Local Government and Labor. Isani Cayetano for News Five.

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.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed