Environment


Belize is a developing country possessing a rich tapestry of natural and cultural resources.

Like many nations around the globe it confronts significant dilemmas posed at the interface of development and conservation. Local, national and international non-governmental organizations actively pursue conservation objectives through the modification of land use, land purchases, and the creation of public and private reserves. Meanwhile, deficits in financial and human resources force the Government of Belize to experiment with innovative partnerships with individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Under these arrangements, various co-management arrangements introduce different levels of management attention to otherwise neglected yet legally declared protected lands. At the same time, indigenous communities struggle to maintain and promote their traditional […]


The struggle for Maya land, oil, and gold

by Robin Llewellyn 11 July 2012 After two very recent attacks on Maya community leaders in Guatemala, the challenges faced by the lawyers applying domestic law and international indigenous rights legislation to these conflicts are revealing, as legal concepts are reinterpreted by governments in indigenous communities across the Maya region of Central America. On the night of 12 June two men broke into the home of José Tavico Tzunun in Santa Cruz del Qiché, Western Guatemala, and murdered him. Tzunun was a member of the K’iche’ Peoples Council in Defense of Life, Mother Nature, Earth, and Indigenous Territory. He helped […]


Resilient Communities with Cristina Coc

Cristina Coc discusses issues with Alec Baldwin and Aaron Sherinian at Earth To Paris. Giving voice on an international platform to indigenous peoples of Belize as they talk about climate change and its solutions. “The most important thing is to learn from indigenous and forest communities on how they do sustainable development – Christina Coc” Governments have the responsibility to set the framework for action … but the energy and innovation really happens at the local and regional level. Related articles Climate warriors, renewables champions, carbon absorbers or not? (earthtimes.org) Tackling Climate Change in the Caribbean: Natural Solutions to a […]


Environment and development in coastal regions and in small islands

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT A case history: Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico By Peter V. Wiese, retired exploration geologist Executive Summary Before its development, Cancún Island was a barrier island, 17 km long and 100-400 m wide. It faced the Caribbean Sea and enclosed a shallow lagoon and was an important nesting site for seabirds and sea turtles. There were several openings to the mangrove lined lagoon in which there was a variety of marine life. In order to create a tax base for the newly created state of Quintana Roo (1973), it was decided to create an […]


UnHappy Birthday Belize

I wanted to wait for the festivities to simmer down before I put my thoughts out to my fellow Belizeans. I do not know how you will receive my speech or how it will be scrutinized, but these are my heartfelt convictions. I heard some of the speeches and for the most part heard a lot of pretty flowers, shiny gems and smelt nice perfume that all masked the reality that our nation faces today, 33 years and a couple days old. I won’t go into the pretties too much, you know that is not me. My idea is to […]


Belize is at war and doesn't know it

While stumbling online I ran across this article by one of Belize’s top photographers and thought it is too important not to share. I fully agree with Tony here, we are fighting a silent and invisible war that most of us don’t know is happening. I was speaking to one of the military personnel recently and he was telling me about this exact issue. I find it horribly disgraceful that Guatemalans can come into Belize and do as they please, when our military does their jobs in defending our nation and either capture or kill these armed invaders they get […]


Belize at Ireland Oil & Gas 2014 Summit in Dublin

2014 is a pivotal year for Ireland’s oil and gas industry, with exploration of key prospects underway and a new licensing round due to commence in just a few weeks’ time. The mood at the 2nd Ireland Oil & Gas Summit was one of enthusiasm and excitement, and a feeling that perhaps Ireland will soon be firmly placed on the global map of oil and gas. With more than 120 delegates in attendance from more than 80 companies and organisations, the meeting brought together an exceptional cross-section of companies and individuals with a vested interest in realising Ireland’s hydrocarbon potential. […]


Letter to the Editor: Norwegian Cruise Line

Dear Editor: I viewed with interest the hosting of a press tour by Norwegian Cruise Line and the explanation by NCL executive Colin Murphy of why the establishment of a cruise port at Harvest Caye would be such a wonderful blessing for Belize. What particularly prompts me to write is his astonishingly candid – and frightening – statement that “Really, what we are doing is locking ourselves into Belize”. Remember that word, “locked”. Although no longer a member of the Belizean media I could not help but think of a few questions for Mr. Murphy had I been present. Specifically […]


To Save a Coral Reef Enabler

Originally posted on December 12, 2012 By LUIZ ROCHA Luiz Rocha, the curator of ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences, writes from Belize, where he conducts research on one of the world’s most endangered fish. There’s a lion on the loose, and it’s hunting endangered prey. I’m on my way to Belize to see what I can do about it. Belize is home to a portion of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Hundreds of species of fish inhabit this diverse coral reef system, many of them unique to the region. This week […]


CABINET'S DECISION ON NCL'S PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT ON CRAWL CAYE

Belizeans and true friends of Belize, It appears as though the Cabinet has made a pronouncement concerning the proposed Norwegian Cruise Lines development on Crawl Caye. As with all things, especially in dealing with matters deriving from this administration, a word to the wise is that despite what you glean from the press release…”the devil is in the details”. On the surface it looks as though the Cabinet made a wise, sound and appropriate decision, based on the statutes involving environmental protection. Yet, it causes the “enquiring mind” to query why, on one hand they opt to disregard issues pertaining […]


Norwegian Cruise Lines, the GOB and Belize's Barrier Reef 1

Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL)…you won’t destroy our Great Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site, our Great Blue Hole and its surrounding eco-systems, to build a casino and more! Not on our watch and not in our backyard! Belizeans, and True Friends of Belize, please help us raise awareness by sharing and making this go viral. As early as next week, the Belize government is taking this issue to Cabinet for a vote: whether or not to grant NCL permission to proceed with their proposed development within this fragile UNESCO World Heritage Site.Less than two weeks ago, the world was appalled […]