Monitoring Unit of Gulf of Honduras Project to reactivate key stakeholders network

Friday, May 10th, 2013

The monitoring unit of the Gulf of Honduras Project is looking to reactivate their network in the region. The Gulf of Honduras project was set up few years ago in Belize, Honduras and Guatemala to look at potential threats on the marine life and ecosystem as a result of maritime activities in the five ports within the Gulf of Honduras. It also set up a stakeholder’s network for prevention and pollution control of marine environment arising from maritime transportation within the Gulf of Honduras. Coordinators for the monitoring unit were in Belize for the first national Committee Key Stakeholders Network of Belize meeting. It took place at the Belize Coastal Zone Management office in Belize City on Thursday May 2nd and had the attendance of various government agencies as well as representation from the two ports in Belize.

Otto Guillermo Noack, Executive Director for the Central American Commission for Maritime Transport (COCATRAM) said it is important to reactivate the stakeholder’s network so that Belize, like Guatemala and Honduras, can make good use of past research done as part of the Gulf of Honduras Project. “COCATRAM was the executing body of the Gulf of Honduras Project. What we are doing now is that we visited Belize to reactivate the stakeholder’s network that was used when the Gulf of Honduras project was active. When the funding for the project was exhausted, we wanted to find out what do we do with all the research, studies, the equipment and the work geared towards the protection of the environment and contamination control caused by maritime transportation the Gulf of Honduras, where there are five big ports,” said Noack. He added, “The challenge now is for us to have continuity in the use of the material. As an initiative of COCATRAM, we are creating a follow-up/tracking unit to the Gulf of Honduras Project which will be spearheaded by Norma Reyes. Reyes, we believe, has more knowledge of the project since she has been with the project since its inception. As part of the work to re-activate the Key Stakeholders Network, we visited Belize to get the stakeholders in Belize onboard with such initiative.”

Gulf-of-Honduras-Project

According to Reyes, the network’s main area of concern is to acknowledge the current situation of the countries with regards to prevention, contingency planning and response capacity in order to contribute to improving protection and control measures of the pollution of the marine environment arising from maritime transport and port operations in the Gulf of Honduras.

The meeting had the participation of government’s Chief Environmentalist Martin Alegria. The five ports in the Gulf of Honduras are Belize City Port, Big Creek both in Belize; Santo Tomas de Castilla Port and Puerto Barrios in Guatemala and Puerto Cortes in Honduras.

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