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Mar 21, 2014

APAMO supports injunction to stop pre-drilling activities in Sarstoon Temash National Park

SATIIM has applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction to stop US Capital Energy from starting pre-drilling operations within the Sarstoon Temash National Park pending a court decision.   Today, SATIIM got support from APAMO, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations. The umbrella organization is calling on US Capital and the Government to respect the justice system of Belize and the rule of law. APAMO says the issue of whether the minister responsible or administrators of protected areas may issue permits under the National Parks System Act, for commercial activities in national parks or other national protected areas is “a vexing issue that keeps coming up as successive ministers and administrators have issued permits to conduct commercial activities within protected areas declared under the Act.” APAMO also lists the number of permits issued going back to 2004 and 2005. At the time, the minister approved an entry permit to a private oil company that enjoyed an oil exploration license within the park. Between 2008 and 2009, a permit was issued to a private logging company to access Tapir Mountain National Park and in October 2009, the Chief Forest Officer issued a permit to Belize Hydro Development Management Company Limited to enter Bladen Nature Reserve to conduct hydrological studies. In November 2010, APAMO says a permit was issued to a private developer to build a road access through Billy Barquedier National Park. All in all, APAMO complains that protection of national parks has been ignored.

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