What’s the Belize Coast Guard’s role in satisfying the Blue Bonds’ conditions?
Belize’s blue bonds: considered a hallmark achievement by the Government of Belize. Part of the conditions to make the bonds a complete success is a particular focus on marine conservation. That means that Belize must stick to and fulfil its commitment to protecting about thirty percent of its ocean space. One body that’s critically involved in this process is the Belize Coast Guard. In our extended discussion with Rear Admiral Elton Bennett, he explained how that works.
RADM Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard: First and foremost it’s aligning our strategy with the national strategy and looking in detail and in depth at what the Blue Bond initiative requires government to do and that means reorganizing our patrols to ensure that we have assets that will be patrolling or assigned to patrol those areas that government has recently declared as marine protected areas to ensure that we can live up to the mandate of the blue bond initiative and then again there will be more expansion of the outer limits of the territorial seas so it’s really allocating resources to meet the legislative demands required of the blue bond initiative. And we’re not doing this alone it’s easier when we work in tandem so we’re working well with the Ministry of Blue Economy and the Fisheries Department to ensure that we allocate resources and we’re not duplicating efforts and that we conduct targeted operations to ensure that we’re doing our part.”