The Government of Belize Declines to Safeguard Belize's Marine and Coastal Resources from the Threat of Offshore Oil Through Legislation

Is the Government of Belize saying ‘YES’ to Offshore Oil?

Press Release Date: 
November, 2016
Contact: Jacinta Gomez:

In the spirit of transparency, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage is disclosing a letter sent to a member of the Coalition on November 4th 2016. 

As a reading of this letter will reveal, the Government is refusing to legislate a positon on the offshore oil moratorium. We are reiterating the need for legislation on the moratorium because the policy referenced in the letter is not even a written document and given that policies can change with little or no notice.

On a separate but related note, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage repeats its and UNESCO’s call to government to justify, on a scientific basis, the one kilometre buffer on the World Heritage Sites and the Belize Barrier Reef. We highlight that despite announcing this promised ban in December 2015, government has even failed to formalize this decision by legislation.

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The letter references an annex and we have already written to the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum requesting it as it was not attached in the email.

The members of the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage reassures the Belizean people that we will continue to ensure that the petroleum industry is governed by stringent laws and transparent policies that rely on the best available science to guide Belize’s development.

The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage’s mission is to secure a ban on oil exploration in Belize’s offshore and protected areas; and to strengthen the legislative framework for the equitable distribution of oil revenues and promote strong environmental safeguards for the oil industry.