APAMO Calls for Moratorium on Slash-and-Burn Farming to Protect Ecosystems

APAMO Calls for Moratorium on Slash-and-Burn Farming to Protect Ecosystems

The Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) is calling for a moratorium on the burning of farmlands as countless acres of protected areas have been destroyed in recent weeks. The NGO says there is an urgent need for the government to implement measures to deter farmers from using the slash-and-burn method. For almost a month, dozens of communities have been battling raging fires that have destroyed crops, homes, and wildlife. Today, Minister of State for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Ramon Cervantes, was asked to weigh in on the NGO’s plea. And while he stated it is only a decision at this point, he did speak about the current situation in the Tapir Mountain Forest Reserve, where acres of pristine forest land are on fire. 

Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State, Climate Change and Sustainable Development: “The Forest Department is working along with NEMO in advising them to fight the forest fires. And NEMO is on the ground there and we are doing all the best together with the community volunteers. We are doing our best to manage these fires and to control them and finally out them. That is what we are trying to do.”

Reporter: Is it true that specific fire was caused by a Mennonite farmer? 

Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State, Climate Change and Sustainable Development: “We have reports but there is no conclusive evidence yet. There are reports and in fact several of these fires they say have been caused by runaway fires by farmers or maybe not even necessarily farmers. People maybe just doing some burning.”

The NGO managing the protected area, the Belize Karst Habitat Conservation, has been battling the flames since this weekend.

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