The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage has written to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The Coalition is asking, once more, for the Government to share all the information that it has amassed and used to make its original decision to allow seismic survey in the offshore area of Belize. The coalition believes that given the significant public sentiment opposing offshore oil exploration, it is the Government’s responsibility to either establish a legislated ban on offshore oil exploration or enact the Clean Oceans Safe Tourism moratorium draft into law. The Executive Director of the Belize Tourism Industry and Association, which is a member of the Coaliton, John Burgos, spoke to the media.
“We have not received anything official, we have not tried to reach out to Minister yet ,we are going to be looking to do that in the near future but we were hoping that they would be able to provide us with a response because that was what was mentioned that there was going to be discussing what transpired last week Wednesday and Thursday. What we do know is that it has been cancelled at this moment, the ships are out of Belizean waters but we do know that some other ships were scheduled to come in later in November but our stance is that we want to know what the government’s way forward is going to be with regards to seismic testing and oil exploration. Minister Heredia mentioned that he was going to present to Cabinet on Tuesday the draft bill that Oceana presented to the government of Belize in June 2015 that clearly stated the eight conditions for a moratorium to be lifted if the government so decided that oil exploration is the way to go but we haven’t heard anything since, we have been functioning in good faith because the Prime Minister mentioned that he was going to reviewing what the terms and conditions of the moratorium would be and since last year we have still not formalized anything. You look at the time that has transpired since at the time last year I believe the Prime Minister mentioned we were moving into elections so the focus was on elections, elections have gone since November so now I think its’ due time for the government to really let us know what will be the way forward.”
The Coalition is also calling on the Government to quote, “prevent the Brasillis or any other vessel related to the multibeam survey, currently scheduled to enter in November, from entering Belizean waters if no consultation and information is provided to the public.” End of quote.