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Jun 5, 2012

World Environment Day observed in Belize

“Green Economy: Does It Include You?”, the universal theme for this year’s World Environment Day, encourages growth in income and employment driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution.  It also aims to improve energy and resource efficiency, as well as prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. While issues pertaining to the environment remain at the forefront of the agenda, there are no activities organized in observation of the day locally. Those concerns include the quality of air we breathe.  According to Edilberto Romero of Programme for Belize, the release of carbon into the atmosphere, particularly in the area of Spanish Lookout where oil production remains ongoing, presents numerous dangers for residents within that community.


Edilberto Romero, Programme for Belize

Edilberto Romero

“The air quality is one.  We need good, clean air to breathe.  When I drive around Spanish Lookout, for example, close to the oil wells where they are extracting oil, if that and also where they are gathering it and burning flames, if things like that are put upwind from the communities then when you are in the community you smell the contamination from those activities.  That’s an issue that I think should be independently monitored so that the people’s health are not affected because if those things could affect the respiratory system of the people it could create respiratory problems and health problems in general. It is important for us to step back and look at our activities, our behavior in terms of the environment.  Are we taking care of our waters and simple things like throwing garbage, dirtying the streets and clogging the drains affect our environment because when the streets are clogged by garbage then we get a lot of flooding.  When we contaminate our water it affects us in every way.  We need water for drinking, for bathing, for processing, cooking food and drinks, everything.  So we need to take care of that as well.  We take for granted that we have a lot of fresh water.  There are countries that have destroyed their forest and they don’t have sufficient water now for drinking and we are, to a certain extent, heading into that direction because we are seeing more and more contamination of our rivers, of waters.  So we need to take a conscious effort to protect them.  When we clear the forest we are also affecting our ability to protect ourselves from hurricanes and storms.  Our mangroves, for example, so we need to look at all of that and make a conscious effort to protect the environment of Belize.”


World Environment Day is an initiative created by the United Nations Environment Programme to promote social equity and inclusiveness through celebration of the natural environment.

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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