San Pedranos Acted Out of Emotion, Not Information on OUR REEF. Really?

You may have noticed that for the past week, instead of San Pedro happenings, parties, invites to this beautiful country, new restaurants and pretty pictures of the beach, my blog has taken a different tone.  One that I couldn’t feel more passionate about – one that I know this town and this country feels passionate about – the greatest natural gift this country has –>

BELIZE’S BARRIER REEF

save-our-manatees-our-sharks-our-whales-our-fish-our-coral-reef-our-livelihoods-our-heritage

What happened:  The Government of Belize allowed oil exploration to begin off-shore seismic testing over our waters and around our reef system without public consultation or a public announcement – that is THE LAW .  

Or wait…maybe it is not.  There are a few too many uses of the word:  MAY.

“The environmental legislation of Belize requires that any project or activity which may have significant impact on the environment may be required to carry out an EIA and following the rules as set out in the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations  and its Amendment of 2007…”   – Department of the Environment Website

What happened:  Days after the testing started, in response to a public outcry, the Government called a meeting with “stakeholders” who PASSIONATELY voiced their opinions and the seismic testing was halted.

Yesterday the Belize Cabinet met to discuss this and other matters in a Closed Session.

One minister spoke to the news yesterday afternoon and said to Channel 5 News:  One of the conditions that I have seen for lifting of any moratorium, is that you would bring in some expert who would look at the economic cost benefit of lifting it, if you want. But then I asked from my own technical and engineering point of view: how on earth would you know what the benefit would be, if you first don’t do a study to find out what is there? And my understanding of the seismic was just that – it’s not going to – the experts have said that it’s not going to destroy anything…”

He called the public’s response under-informed “huffing and puffing”.

Here is what Oceana has to say about the issue – they are working CLOSELY with the people of San Pedro and holding public consultations with other groups around the country this week.

UPDATE ON OUR REEF: From Oceana Belize –> “UPDATE. We have just gotten confirmation that now the position of the Government of Belize is that it was only collecting data to inform its position on offshore oil especially in light of conditions such as a cost benefit analysis.”

There are lots of problems with this:

The data was not going to be simply collected and handed over to the Government of Belize. The Government was going to get a copy of the raw data and the agreed processed reports. However, the company, TGS, having expended approximately 6 million Belize dollars for both surveys, was going to SELL the data to recover its money. (Oceana)

Please make sure to attend that in your area!

btia

And here is some emotional huffing and puffing from me.  I would argue that NO ONE is more informed about this reef than the citizens of the country, the tour guides, the fishermen, the divers, the scientists and all the people of San Pedro.  We see it, we hear it, we love it and we are protected by it each and every day.

Our high school students look out their school room windows and see it.

our-reef

 

There was no public consultation on what is known to be an environmentally controversial issue. ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF THE FACT THAT THE PEOPLE OF BELIZE HAVE BEEN SO VOCAL ON THIS SUBJECT. #NOMEANSNO

Why does the government need to know about this oil if there are no plans to drill? Risk/benefit assessment? So if we have oil, it will make sense to drill? Remember that the DeepWater Horizon accident in the gulf cost British Petroleum $62billion dollars US. $62 billion.

So…maybe they won’t drill. They can use these reserves found in exploration as collateral for loans. The government is now buckling beneath the weight of the last government’s “Super Bond” as well as their own debt. We all know that once there is a change of government no one seems to feel accountable anymore. “Well…that was the prior administration…”.  Caught in this strangle hold by oil companies, do we have a chance?

This is NOT a political decision, this is not about “tree huggers” – this is our lives at risk. Our livelihoods, our childrens’,

Government officials were not divinely appointed, they were voted in by the people, by us. They are public servants – they work for us. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

No one should be ashamed for being passionate about an issue that means everything to this community and this island.

Now the question is: what do they plan going forward?

 






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  • PMC

    The little known fact is that the 99% do in reality control the 1% – but shhh, don’t tell’em. There will naturally come a time when people realize that it is easier to rid the world of those who believe that they are in control. Let’s face it, there’s less than 100 families that own virtually everything.
    Round’em up & … well, just sayin’ there’s a solution to this global problem……………

    • SPmQQse

      cleansing…gatta lovit.

      • PMC

        Ya, live life like a barnacle… hmmm… maybe a title for an anthem…

        • I’m writing the words…anyone do melodies?

    • Jim

      Yes, Belize could have purge trials like Stalin did in the Soviet Union in the 30’s.

      What a dangerous idea! “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

      • PMC

        ‘The difference between a democracy & a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first & take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.’ ~ Charles Bukowski

  • SPmQQse

    $50.+a barrel….now.. it a great time to buy futures…oil futures.

    • I dunno…if belize is going to hit some massive oil reserve…then prices could dip…we will want to sell immediately. Fast y furious.

      • SPmQQse

        i’m just thinkin a 2 yr contract.

  • Ed Selby

    Ask the people who live on the US Gulf Coast what happens when an off-shore drilling operation has a problem. Compound those effects exponentially on one of the world’s most fragile eco-systems.

    Even a safe, secure, “spill free” operation has spillage. It is the nature of the beast. Oil and reefs just don’t mix.

    • Totally. There is no amount of money that would be worth risking it. Unfortunately a few hundred thousand in a few peoples’ pockets is an amazing short term gain for just those people.

  • ct

    Guys, Laws or whatever peaceful protests do not register with Them. They have banks of attorneys, bankers, Hit Me, etc…at their disposal.
    Of course peaceful approach is desired but They are not peaceful. They like to appear that way but behind the curtain…

    Many, MANY leaks pertaining to Petroleum go without being known. You guys know of the Big ones they got caught on. Much, Much more daily happening as bad and even worse goes UN-announced. NOT on CNN.

    There is so much Nuclear Sources lost Down hole around the World for on most do not know anything about. Yes, sure just a small amount of Nuke material and no worry they say….But….!!!!

    I used to have my office in a long time past nuclear storage room. I swear to God. Maybe some of my buddys were kidding me…Right? NOPE, I checked with proper personnel and the room had previously been Nuke Storage “Room”. I was in there do it was a “Quiet Room”.(Some people do not know what I do or discuss in some of my offices = “Quiet Room”)

    My answer about previous Nuke storage room….I went down hall and got Geiger counter. I checked the room to see how hot it was. Sometimes we have to take on our own efforts to ensure our safety and that of our Family / Friends.

    Best advice to folks of Belize…Arm boats with cannons and when the monkeys come back in your face with ships, etc…that have their logos/flags….Across the bow with shots.

    Funny huh? NOT.

    Also, even if you run around and get “Laws” passed…Your national waters only extend so far into Ocean and then you are into Land of Pirates…Anything goes!

    These ar not people that care about Laws….My God….All they care about is $$$$$$$$$$$$ and will have done whatever to ensure $ flows. They stand back and claim innocence if / when something goes awry and blame employees! Most employees go to work to buy food for Family and so forth. Most employees do as told or they are no longer employee.

    A B C Elementary.

  • FJL

    👍 🐋🐠🐢🏊🐸⛵🐟🌴🐳🐚🐌🐊🐙🗾🌼💧🐒🌅🐬🚣🌎

    👎 ⛽💰