Saturday, May 25, 2024

Department of the Environment

Public consultation on sport fishing regulations held in San Pedro

On Tuesday, January 23rd, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) hosted a consultation session with stakeholders involved in the sport fishing industry in San Pedro Town. The meeting touched on revising the Coastal Zone Management Act on Sport Fishing Regulations. The meeting allowed participants to be part of the revision process and provided a platform through which they gave direct feedback on how management and laws of the sector can improve. The meeting also discussed three main points shared by those in attendance.

Ministry of Sustainable Development and UNICEF Sign MOU

The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to formalize a partnership for the protection of children, mothers, and vulnerable Belizeans.

Belize Aggressor still stuck at Lighthouse Reef

The Belize Aggressor IV, a 115-foot-long yacht, remains stuck near Lighthouse Reef Atoll, after it ran aground in the Aquarium dive site a week ago. The Belize Port Authority (BPA) is investigating the incident, while the boat’s management is preparing a salvage plan to remove it from this sensitive area covered with coral reef. After that, the Department of the Environment (DOE) will conduct a damage assessment.

Marine litter scientists from the UK and Belize working together to tackle plastic pollution in the ocean

Scientists and leaders from across Belize are meeting at the Water Quality and Marine Pollution Workshop on 27th June 2023 at Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, to share their ideas and develop next steps to tackle ocean pollution and support a healthy marine environment. At the event, hosted by the Department of the Environment (DOE), experts will be sharing current monitoring practices, scientific knowledge, and identifying opportunities to collaborate and coordinate Belize’s national response to river and marine pollutants. Among the attendees are key stakeholders from the Government of Belize, managers of Marine Protected Areas, and scientists from water quality monitoring laboratories.

ARACT hosts workshop for island air conditioning and refrigeration technicians

For three days from Monday, March 6th, 50 island heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians participated in a refresher training organized by the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians (ARACT). The three-day workshop was held in the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room. The technicians participating were tested, introduced to upgraded equipment and new refrigerants, and informed of the consequences if caught working without a license.

Government introduces new SI featuring amendments to EIAs

The government has announced changes in vetting developments needing environmental clearances. As per a release from the Department of the Environment (DOE), an amendment to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations has changed, as noted in the newly created Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 23 of 2023. The DOE said this amendment ensures the utmost transparency and accountability to the general populace across Belize.

Sailboat remains abandoned on the reef

In March of this year, a 35-foot sailboat named ‘Ramblynn’ ran aground on the reef in the Tranquillity channel area off the northern coast of Ambergris Caye. According to persons in the area, the sailboat belonging to Canadian national Glen Peter remains abandoned on the reef. There is no update on when this vessel will be removed, which may be damaging the reef.

Signing of Formal Agreement between the Department of the Environment and the University of Belize

While the agreement is primarily focused on marine pollution from plastics, it also extends itself in allowing both parties to engage in research in thematic areas of mutual concern in promoting a healthier environment.