Belize Port Authority Collaborates on National Maritime Transport Policy; Engages Stakeholders
The Belize Port Authority (BPA) is working with the International Maritime Organization to craft a national maritime transport policy. Today, the BPA and thirty stakeholders, including the maritime technical committee, gathered to discuss possible strategies to be included in the plan. The framework includes strengthening areas such as transportation, safety, shipping, and port development. Acting Ports Commissioner Darlin Gaitan says that the goal is to work with the stakeholders to receive meaningful input to craft a well-rounded and effective policy.
Darlin Gaitan, Acting Ports Commissioner, Belize Port Authority: “From this workshop the heads of department for the maritime technical committee as well as our relevant maritime stakeholders are going to come together and be able to create a maritime transport policy or a maritime policy and be able to implement and execute that policy and strategy. When you look at maritime transport policy you are looking at a wide array of things not only strengthening yourself within the maritime sector within shipping. So for example looking at port specific development and how ports will be able to continue accepting shipping because your port development is adequate and your infrastructure is adequate. So we look at various subsectors within the maritime that would assist in us being connected to shipping because it’s a very important sector to be connected to for trade and development. And so there is the economic side of transport policy, there is environmental side because with more ships coming to port there is of course a threats of environmental spills, disasters, groundings, you name it so you have to prepare for those eventualities. And there is also the human element of maritime transport. Do we have adequate capacity to be able to regulate, to be able to carry out the work of the sector. So it really is looking at a lot of various aspects of maritime and how we can bolster, how we can strengthen the sector for the good of the state.”
Reporter: And in terms of players that are here how many stakeholders would you say are taking part and I notice like you said it’s a very wide range of stakeholders.
Darlin Gaitan, Acting Ports Commissioner, Belize Port Authority: “Yes so we have approximately around thirty participants and they vary from the maritime technical committee we have Department of Environment, we have the Coast Guard, the IMBARBE which is the registry, we also have Ministry of the Blue Economy and coastal zone. We also have invited tourism stakeholders, we have Ministry of Economic Development, also we have Ministry of National Defense because when you look at the maritime borders it is still a border and it needs to be safe in order for all the other economic activities to be able to thrive and so as you can see it’s an array of stakeholders in the maritime space and so we need to collaborate to get the agenda moving forward.”
The workshop was held at the Caribbean Tires conference room in Belize City.