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Oct 4, 2022

Minister of Rural Transformation: Sustainability and Resiliency Should Be Basis of Decisions

Oscar Requeña

On Monday, Minister of Rural Transformation, Oscar Requeña delivered the keynote address virtually at the Fourth Urban Economy Forum in Toronto, Canada. Requeña posited that the events of the last couple years, including COVID, the war in Ukraine, the impacts of climate change, high fuel prices and cost of living have forced us to rethink how we make decisions now.


Oscar Requeña, Minister of Rural Development

“In my estimation, and in our thinking, sustainability and resiliency are two of most significant considerations that are to be the basis of our decisions and actions, as they are critical to our immediate and future development. In Belize, while it is utterly important that we build urban sustainability and resiliency, our efforts are equally focused on strengthening our rural and peri-urban sectors to reduce urbanization. We want our people to work, grow, play and develop in the places where they live. Our population estimates show that there’s almost an even split between our urban and rural population; notwithstanding, we do demonstrate a pattern of urbanization, which is a characteristic of our Caribbean small island states. Consequentially, the vulnerability in the urban spaces continues to be worsened by the challenges associated to our inherent low coastal zones that continue to be subjected to sea level rise, informal settlements arising out of urbanization, heat stress and heavy precipitation resulting from global warming, economic conditions, and the general characteristics of most of these sites. To adapt and to mitigate these vulnerabilities, municipal governments are called to deliver improved services with the aim of enhancing all elements of the urban space. However, the limits of the financial position and fiscal space of and for urban governments to address these increasing challenges are significant deterrents for advancing this aim. Therefore, it is necessary that the approaches to achieving sustainability and resiliency must be all inclusive, participatory, collaborative, evidence-based, data driven and innovative.”

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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