Oil or Tourism? That is the question and one that for most of us would be easy to answer!! However, I am sorry to say, that the Government of Belize seems to want us to believe that it is possible to have both and have been pushing through licenses without the consent of the people both onshore and offshore!!
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage was formed back in 8th June 2010 on World Ocean’s Day and is actively looking for a ban on all oil exploration, exploitation and production in Belize’s offshore and protected areas. Furthermore they are pushing to develop legislation and policies for onshore oil exploration, exploitation and production which will enable equitable distribution of oil revenues for Belize’s national development in an environmentally safe manner. – Sounds good to you? Well we are in full support!!!
The Coalition strives, through conducting educational presentations across Belize to inform the Belize people the dangers of the oil exploration. Their second task is to gather signatures of the Belizean people to force the government into a referendum – 17,000 signatures were necessary, the Coalition states that they have currently surpassed this number but they feel the need to continue gathering.
The major hurdle for the organization is the current Goverment and indeed the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, who unforgiving in his support for the drilling. He says that the windfall gained from the potential oil tax revenue will reduce debt and indeed be just what the country needs. He seems to care little about the threat to our environment.
We will, through this blog, continue to update you in the Coalitions endeavors to protect Belize’s environment!