Stakeholders Gather for Water Quality Training, Focus on Knowledge Sharing and Strategies
Countrywide stakeholders gathered this morning for the training at the Radisson Fort George on water quality and monitoring protocol. One of the facilitators is Peter Kohler of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS). According to Kohler, this training is centered on knowledge sharing and exploring new strategies by incorporating existing activities.
Peter Kohler, CEFAS: “We’re supporting the Department of Environment in the National Water Quality Monitoring Protocol that they’re leading the initiative on. And what we’re doing here today is bringing together all the stakeholders around water quality monitoring within Belize and I work for an organization in the UK called CFAS, the Center of Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science and what we’re doing is we’re supporting the Department of Environment and the Belizean government with pollution monitoring, marine pollution monitoring protocols and expertise and equipment and training to support improved water quality monitoring for Belizeans in the natural environment. So by supporting those water quality, we can then improve the environment for Belizeans which then helps improve livelihoods and health. A lot of today is just about kind of who’s doing what, how can we support with our expertise how can we support the Department of Environment to help integrate a lot of the great work Belizeans are doing already, you know, where can we find efficiencies, where can we sort of really coordinate the activities that are happening to support that monitoring of the water environment all the way from the ridges, from the mountains, all the way down to the reef. So it’s kind of everyone’s coming here together to discuss all those points and understand where there’s overlaps and where they can work together and what perhaps some of the gaps are and for us, supporting the program through Ocean Country Partnership, it’s a fantastic opportunity to really see how we can support and help the Department of Environment and the many stakeholders we have here today.”
Coinciding with today’s training is the donation of equipment by CEFAS to special stakeholders in Belize.
Peter Kohler, CEFAS:“So we’re really excited that we’ve just delivered two micro FTIRs. So they are microscopic, they were the microscopes and they help to determine the for example the polymers of plastics that are found in the environment. So very excited. Tomorrow we’ll be visiting the University of Belize and the Department of Environment each have one of these brand new microscopes and it’s world leading so we’re really excited in that we can work with Belize. and counterparts around the world to produce this kind of really high quality science and to use that to support the monitoring of not just plastics but also other pollutants in the environment and that’s part of why we’re here today to kind of understand what other pollutants we can help Belize monitor as well.”
The training concluded this afternoon.