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Guatemala-Belize Joint Commission

The Fourth meeting of the Guatemala-Belize Joint Commission was held on Wednesday, November 28th in the Office of the Organization of American States (OAS) in the Adjacency Zone. The meeting was headed by the Commissioners of both countries, the Ambassador of Belize in Guatemala, Alexis Rosado and the Ambassador of Guatemala in Belize, Georges de La Roche. The Commissioners were accompanied by Manuel Washington Abdala, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Guatemala-Belize matters.  This meeting focused on the implementation of the Agreement between both countries for the Protection of the Environment and Sustainable Use of Resources that was signed in December 2014, and it included participants at the technical and official level of relevant ministries and departments of government from both countries.  The delegations met in an atmosphere of positive and constructive discussions and agreed to advance concrete actions, including to finalize a plan of action for the prevention and combating of forest fires and to explore the possibility of a bi-national technical mechanism for the monitoring of water quality. Also discussed was a plan of action to address trafficking in wildlife, mapping and coordination of work done by environmental organizations that operate in both countries, the establishment of a Working Group to monitor and manage the effects of climate change on the forest and natural resources, as well as to explore ways to set up a centralized system of information for corresponding institutions to gather information on the studies being conducted at various levels and of challenges facing the Selva Maya area.  Both delegations reiterated their commitment to deepen bilateral friendship and collaboration in the face of common challenges and with the continuity of the Joint Commission’s work in 2019 to promote, among other things, the full implementation of the Agreements signed in Placencia in 2014.