A meeting held at the Sunbreeze Hotel Conference Room on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, was a powerful engine that was provided by the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) for our island residents to learn more about the coalition that is opposing drilling offshore and in protected areas in our country.
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage was invited to the island by the ACCSD to inform residents about the ecology, economics and laws of offshore drilling in Belize. They highlighted all the laws that govern oil exploration and all the rights of Belizean citizens on how they can voice their opinions against oil drilling and exploration, even more so, the outlined procedures that you can take to go directly to government and be heard.
Sad to say, the coalition made it clear of all the loopholes in our country’s laws that make it easy for oil companies to come here, pay minimum fees, produce little or no environmental impact assessments, not even compensate our country and exploit our natural resources right under our noses without any public consultation for us to be aware of it.
Did you know that:
* That there are 18 contacts to companies for oil exploration in Belize?
* That there have already been 16 oil wells dug in the country with no indication of oil?
* That there has even been an oil exploration rig erected offshore at Glovers Reef in 1999?
* That there is already an oil well dug at the Bacalar Chico National Reserve in North Ambergris Caye?
“If we are thinking of moving our natural based economy to a petroleum based economy, government better make sure that our laws protect its citizens and properly informs them of what is taking place with these oil drilling contracts,” Audrey Matura-Shepherd of Oceana and a member of the coalition. “Standing against these contracts ensures not only the protection of our environment, but also the protection of our people and all other industries within the country of Belize that are essential for the survival of its people.”
Our Belizean citizens are clearly not being informed about these oil drilling contracts, when it is our right to be informed and be able to voice our opinions if we are against these contracts. The coalition is a powerful moving force that can empower our voices and opinions to indicate to government our stance in these issues. This is why our local ACCSD is urging everybody, organization and business to join the coalition so that more positive results can come forth for the protection of ourselves and our country.
With all the information that was put forth, it is hard to understand how our government can allow our country and people be exploited this way. The Belize Coaltion to Save our Natural Heritage can help. They encourage people to sign the petition available at The Palms Condominiums & at Seaduced by Belize, to write letters to your Ministers/GOB; flood them with letters and to organize petitions that anyone can start to show support of the coalition. To join in their efforts get a hold of ACCSD by emailing [email protected] or contacting calling 226-2254.