Thursday, July 18, 2024

Earth Day observed in Belize; Ambergris Caye to host activities over the weekend

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On Friday, April 22nd, Belize joined the world in celebrating World Earth Day. This year, under the theme “Invest in Our Planet“, several activities took place across the country, including tree planting and cleanups on the mainland. On Ambergris Caye, a two-day community event will start on Saturday, April 23rd, with environmental activities and a cleanup campaign in northern Ambergris Caye.

In keeping with the theme for Earth Day, Prime Minister John Briceno highlights two milestones under his administration with the aim of shifting investment in sustainable practices. “The expansion of our marine protected areas and the designation of all national lands within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site as Mangrove Reserves are significant as we further safeguard the functioning integrity of our ocean and coastal resources, which is key to the realization of a successful ocean-based economy and improved quality of lives for our people. These two targets contribute to Belize’s commitment and the global movement towards the conservation of key areas in our ocean space and the employment of nature-based solutions as central to our national development and response to climate change. Belize’s ocean space and associated resources continue to contribute significantly to food security, livelihoods, key economic sectors, and resiliency to the impacts of climate change,” said Briceno in his Earth Day message.

Councilor Johnnia Duarte spearheads the event at the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) in partnership with the University of Belize Eco Club. On the first day, Saturday, there will be a host of activities at Central Park. These include an environmental information fair with music, entertainment, and games. The fair will include an art competition using recyclable materials for participants ages 7-16, where there will be prizes for the first, second, and third places.

The beach cleanup in northern Ambergris Caye will take place on Sunday, covering the Tranquility Bay area to Rocky Point. This location is nesting grounds for sea turtles; thus, keeping them free of debris and rubbish is essential.

Anyone interested in participating in this year’s activities commemorating Earth Day and month can visit with SPTC personnel present at the fair by Central Park. Organizers are welcoming volunteers.

The Earth Day celebration started in 1970 and was recognized worldwide in 1990. In 2009, the United Nations adopted it as International Mother Earth Day. This year, organizers expect over seven billion trees to be planted and send the message that together, we can save the planet and make it a better world.

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