Government of Belize Officially Announces Legislation on Indefinite Moratorium on Offshore Oil Exploration

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Belmopan. August 18, 2017. Today, Friday, August 18th, in the sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow officially announced Cabinet’s August 15th decision to legislate an indefinite moratorium on offshore oil exploration in Belize’s territorial sea, including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Prime Minister Barrow stressed that the current administration has had, and has committed to for some time now, an official policy decision to abstain from oil exploration in our territorial sea and EEZ. Cabinet’s decision is in furthering that policy decision, to assure citizens, the environmental community, and investors, that the Government of Belize is committed to sustainable development.

In his address to the House of Representatives today, Prime Minister Barrow stated, “[This is] the consequence of conversation with Oceana and The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage; Cabinet felt that the time has come to put the policy commitment into writing.

It makes no practical difference since under either regime there is not going to be any licenses granted for offshore oil exploration activities. But it certainly, I believe, gives comfort to those who require some comfort that this is a step beyond just the policy commitment.”

The Government has committed to presenting a draft bill to the Coalition, with sufficient time before the next sitting of the House, where an amalgamated Bill will be presented.

The Government of Belize encourages interested parties to communicate their views in writing to the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce at:
Address: Ground Floor, Right Wing, Sir Edney Cain Building, Belmopan City
E-mail: [email protected]

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