Sunday, April 14, 2024

Public Advisory from the Ministry of the Environment on fires and persistent burning

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With the high and unprecedented number of fires and persistent burning, the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, and Sustainable Development has enacted a set of new regulations cited as Environmental Protection (Prohibition of the Open-Burning of Refuse and Other Matter) Regulations via Statutory Instrument No. 59 of 2020 which comes into effect today, April 21, 2020.

This new regulation prohibits burning of bush, milpa, agricultural fields, pasture, grass, or any type of vegetation during the state of emergency. It also prohibits the open burning of household and yard waste.

During the state of emergency, anyone engaging in open burning on any private or public land is liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding two years.

Through satellite tracking, the Ministry can determine, in real time, the location of bush fires anywhere in Belize. The Ministry will be mobilizing personnel to investigate burning throughout the country and prosecute those persons contravening this law. Please be advised that every member of the police department is authorized to enforce this act.

The public is asked to refrain from causing or permitting any type of burning. Report any burning to the nearest police station or by contacting the Department of the Environment or the Forest Department through their Facebook pages.

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