Saturday, May 25, 2024

Department of Environment

Independent study places Belize 9th on a list of highest plastic polluters worldwide

A study conducted by Utility Bidder on plastic waste emissions into the ocean has ranked Belize 9th on the list of countries contributing to this environmental issue. The research revealed that Belize emits 0.96kg of plastic into the sea per capita annually. The study aims to identify which countries contribute the most to plastic pollution. In the previous report, Belize was placed 10th, but in the latest report, there has been no improvement in decreasing the amount of plastic waste generated by Belizeans. The research observed the probability and quantity of plastic waste entering the ocean and the mismanagement of plastic waste.

Offices for the Department of Environment and Forest Department to open in San Pedro

As per the Area Representative of Belize Rural South (Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye), the Honourable Andre Perez, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, will soon see the opening of local branches for the Department of Environment (DOE) and the Belize Forest Department. This is a request islanders, particularly those in conservation, have advocated for years as they believe many construction developments in San Pedro are not environmentally friendly and do not adhere to proper regulations.

Construction project north of San Pedro issued Stop Order

Early in December, images started circulating on social media about a construction project north of San Pedro Town showing a truck dumping rocks off the beach and onto the seabed. The photos shocked the environmental and tourism community on the island, who started questioning this action. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and its building unit were reportedly unaware of the incident; as the images made the rounds, they visited the construction site and suspended the works. The latest update from the SPTC is that an official stop order was issued and is still in effect, while the Department of Environment (DOE) issues a fine for the irregular activity.

San Pedro Building Unit goes entirely online

As of October 1st, anyone in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, needing to reach out to the Building Unit for a building permit will be required to do so online. According to the San Pedro Town Council, all building permit applications are to be submitted via email to [email protected]. The Building Unit can also be contacted via WhatsApp at 673-2197.

Belize Authorities respond to the Grounding Incident of Motor Vessel Herca-1

On 26th March 2023, the Belize Port Authority responded to a marine incident involving a 98.25 meters Panamanian-registered general cargo vessel "HERCA-1". The vessel was transiting Belizean waters en route to Port Everglades from their last port call in Puerto Cortes. The vessel is carrying containers and break-bulk cargo.

Sailboat stuck on reef may not be removed

A 35-foot sailboat named ‘Ramblynn,’ which ran aground on the reef in the Tranquility channel off Ambergris Caye in March this year is likely to remain there forever.

Past island investor’s company in the U.S. raided in alleged Ponzi scheme

The company of a Steve Parish in Kansas, United States (U.S.), which relates to real estate deals in Belize, has reportedly been raided and shut down. According to reports, a restraining order was issued for possible links with an alleged fraudulent investing scam. Parish was not found during the raid, and while U.S. authorities claim that he did business in Belize, the only records showing such a name was an unauthorized construction development on the northwestern part of Ambergris Caye, near Secret Beach. The project was issued a cessation order from the Mining Unit in November 2019 after discovering that the high scale dredging within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) had no permits.

The fate of shipwrecked immigrants in Belize

Over the years, shipwreck survivors have unintentionally ended up on Belizean shores. Whether they run aground on the barrier reef, experience engine trouble, or drift off course, the treatment from Belizean authorities, according to reports, is inconsistent. According to recent incidents, some are cleared and allowed to leave after being assisted, while others are imprisoned, and arrangements are made for their removal from the country.