Belizeans Join Hands in Solidarity to Say No to Fossil Fuels and Yes to Clean Energy
On Saturday May 18th, 2019 at noon, Belizeans from across the country joined hands on beaches, across bridges, in conference rooms and along seawalls and other public areas to celebrate in OCEANA’s 2019 Hands Across the Sand in solidarity against offshore oil development in Belize’s economically important marine environment. Over two hundred ocean-lovers from Orange Walk Town, Dangriga, Belize City, Placencia, Corozal Town, San Ignacio, Hopkins, Sarteneja, Punta Gorda, Caye Caulker, San Pedro and Belmopan were a part of this year’s event hosted by Oceana Belize.
In its ninth year, the celebration was extra special because just over a year ago, Belize made the historic decision to say “NO” to an offshore oil industry by passing an indefinite offshore oil moratorium to safeguard our marine wealth.
“People need clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, food to eat, medicines, a climate we can live in, beauty, inspiration and recreation all of which the ocean provides. Our lives literally depend on this resource”, says Janelle Chanona, Vice-President of Oceana in Belize. “As Belizeans, we are proud custodians of some of the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world and as such, we must continuously act to safeguard those resources for today and future generations. Belize joins eight countries globally who partake in Hands Across the Sand, and stands in solidarity with thousands who say “YES” to greener policies and renewable energy sources.”
Held annually across the world, Hands Across the Sand is also a unique platform to promote clean energy alternatives to fossil fuels, saying “NO” to fossil fuels and “YES” to clean energy like solar and wind power. The forming of symbolic barriers against offshore oil began after the BP Oil Spill in 2010, a deadly event of which the effects are still felt today.
Belizean Wavemakers are part of the more than a million Oceana members that support the protection and restoration of the world’s oceans.