Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage triggers Referendum through Oceana in Belize
Press Release Date: January 11, 2012
Location: Belize City, Belize
Belize City, Belize, Thursday, December 8, 2011- – The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage through Oceana in Belize triggered the Referendum for offshore oil exploration and drilling this morning, Thursday, December 8, 2011 by delivering over 18,000 signatures to the Governor General’s office.
At a press conference this morning, the Coalition informed the media that the petition forms were submitted under Section 2(1)(b) Referendum (Amendment) Act 2008. In the letter addressed to the Governor General, Oceana, the triggering organization, requested that the referendum question be: “Do you agree to oil exploration and drilling offshore and in its protected areas?” A further request was made to allow for the offshore oil referendum to be held concurrently with the municipal elections on March 7, 2012 to enable the maximization of the limited resources available to hold an election.
The Coalition further clarified that the referendum request is only on the offshore and not on the terrestrial protected areas as was erroneously reported in the news media. While the terrestrial protected areas are not part of the referendum, the Coalition will continue to strongly advocate for a ban on oil exploration in Belize’s terrestrial protected areas and to educate the public on this issue.
In presenting the signatures to the public, the Coalition announced that the signatures were being presented as “A gift to Belize” and for the public to give “A gift to Belize and vote no on oil exploration and drilling offshore and its protected areas.”
The Coalition continues to call on the people of Belize to exercise their democratic right and vote on the referendum and to vote no on oil exploration and drilling in the offshore and its protected areas.