To discuss Belize’s National Oil Spill Contingency Plan, representatives from various Government and Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector, and Academia associated with Disaster Risk Management and Oil Spill Response, engaged in a meeting at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina in Belize City from Wednesday, August 8th to 10th.
The Department of the Environment (DOE) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment & Sustainable Development, and Immigration (MAFFESDI) commenced implementation of the Consultancy to Update and Align the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan of Belize (NOSCP) to meet international standards in August of last year. The overall objective was to strengthen prevention, preparedness and coordinated emergency response nationally for an oil spill event in terrestrial, aquatic and marine environments, and align the plan to meet international standards and comply with the Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC).
Over the past 12 months, the DOE has hosted a national technical working meeting ( September 5-7, 2017) to engage and consult with national technical experts and organizations with responsibilities in the event of an oil spill, a national consultation workshop (February 5-6, 2018) to conduct a technical review of National Oil Spill Contingency Plan Working Draft – Version 1; and has facilitated data collection through field visits and targeted consultations with individual stakeholders to update the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan.
After stakeholders make final revisions to the document, it will then be submitted to cabinet for approval – and once approved, the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan will be added to the national hazard plan under NEMO. It will be standardized for national and international purposes. The DOE will then carry out a number of trainings to build capacity among the stakeholders on how to use and follow the plan. For further information, you can email the DOE at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 822-2548.