Government Moves to Finalize Marine Spatial Plan: Aims to Govern Sustainable Use and Conservation of Belize’s Marine Resources

Government Moves to Finalize Marine Spatial Plan: Aims to Govern Sustainable Use and Conservation of Belize’s Marine Resources

The government is moving to finalize its Marine Spatial Plan (MSP). The legally enforceable policy will seek to govern the sustainable use and conservation of the country’s marine resources. Today, Program Director of “The Nature Conservancy Belize” Julie Robinson provided an update on its establishment.

Julie Robinson, Program Director, TNC Belize: “It involves a lot of community engagement also stakeholder engagement, various sectors, whether it be the tourism sector, the fishery sector, marine transportation, energy, it’s really to address every single use within our ocean space. So that is why it is a lengthy process and it will take over a period of time. A number of tools have been developed and will continue to be developed to be able to gather all the information that’s needed and to, with the stakeholders, co-design and develop what that plan will look like. Ultimately, we are to get, as a country and the government, is to get to 30% of our oceans is to be protected but this is being done stepwise. It’s not just one, it won’t happen just in one go. The first milestone was completed in 2022 and that was an expansion of the biodiversity protection zones to 20.3%. The next milestone is due in November of this year, which will take us to roughly 25%, and then finally in 2026, in November, will get us to the 30%. So these are things that are happening. There are multiple milestones that need to be reached in order to meet all the commitments. There are other milestones that’s related to the integrated coastal zone management plan, also the applications for IUCN Green listing. So there are some other commitments that are also within the milestones.”

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