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Mar 8, 2011

APAMO disappointed about oil exploration in protected areas

Yvette Alonzo

Over the weekend, OCEANA intensified its campaign towards a referendum on the question of whether or not to drill. Seventeen thousand signatures are required and the results of the petition will be known at a later date. But before that, there is another development that is angering the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization. APAMO is expressing disappointment with the Government for giving out sections of the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, a protected area, as concession to oil companies for oil exploration.  APAMO’s Executive Director, Yvette Alonzo, told News Five that an adequate policy that deals with oil exploration and maintenance of the status of protected areas needs to be developed.

Yvette Alonzo, Executive Director, APAMO

“Indicating our disappointment and objection with regards to their information that we had gotten late Thursday with regards to the review of five applications for oil concessions that will include the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area, which is managed by Programme for Belize. While we appreciate them providing the information which is a first with regards to the different applications that they have received for that area, we feel that: one, it doesn’t give us enough time to look into these companies since Monday was a holiday and on Tuesday we understand that Cabinet will be making a selection of one of the five companies to be given that concession. So our position is in line with the coalition with regards to calling for a ban on oil exploration offshore and in protected areas. This area includes a protected area and we have not yet gone through the process of the petition to really able to allow people to voice how they feel about oil development within protected areas and offshore. So that was basically the objection that we have and also the fact that there is no policy currently that guides oil development and protected areas. Also the fact that these areas have been designated as protected areas because they are for an important value so they cannot be taken lightly when compared to other areas that are not in protected areas. No characterization has been done of the country that can guide us as to where oil can occur and where it absolutely should not occur. And we feel this is absolutely necessary before we proceed to exploring within protected areas. So those are our main concerns that we have with the information that we received with regards to that area and the proposed selection of a company to explore for oil in the Rio Bravo Management and Conservation Area.”

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6 Responses for “APAMO disappointed about oil exploration in protected areas”

  1. Lucas says:

    Since September, that is six months ago, these people are gathering signatures. They are dragging their feet perhaps to gain time but CAMARON QUE SE DUERME, SE LO LLEVA LA CORRIENTE. Either keep pace or stay behind. Be part of the solution not part of the problem. Hold the bull by the horn not by the tail. Be not against developement but how to go about it RESPONSIBLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY.

  2. Earl Grey says:

    Lucas………. WHO HAS really BENEFITED from the OIL at SPANISH LOOK-OUT???????????

    APAMO needs to start considering some GREEN PEACE ACTION!!!

  3. Revolution says:

    The entire coalition is bogus! When Audrey, Apamo and the Coalition comes up with viable solutions to replace oil exploration for future economic growth then I may be willing to listen to them. For now, they are talking a bunch of garbage and trying to discuss an industry they do not understand or have any idea about. It’s funny how these people want to stop development in the oil sector yet continue to drive gas gozzling vehicles which are powered by the very oil they are condemning. Get a horse and carriage or shut up….your not making any sense. Drill baby drill!

  4. ivan says:

    drill baby drill!! its sad how our politicians are taking our country fi granted ,for their own enrichment,fi reall who has benifited from the oil findings in spanish lookout? OF COURSE ITS NOT THE Belizean people.yes we have oil in Belize but its for sale by our GOVT’

  5. Lucas says:

    Hi Earl. Are you angry because because we have seen meager benefits if any? So do I. Do you feel like strangling, with your own hands, those dirty politicians? I feel the same. I am in no way trying to deny the fact that we have all been screwed up. What I have constantly been saying is : We should and must change the way business is done without stopping doing business. Business must continue but business as usual must stop. Drilling can and must be done but in a responsible, environmentally friendly manner and in a way that we can reap benefits and if that means nationalizing the oil industry, so be it. Drilling and the refinery must go hand in hand for us to get benfits . It is not mutually exclusive.

  6. Indy says:

    I am for the oil exploration as long as it is done RIGHT! I know it is going to cause some damage to the ecosystem :( but we must focus on economic development. First there should be an independent body looking at contract instead of cabinet. Independent body select the company and then recommends it to cabinet.

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