BTIA Congratulates the Government on the introduction of the Petroleum Operations (Maritime Zone Moratorium) Act, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

Belize City, Belize – 23rd October 2017.

The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) congratulates the Government of Belize for its efforts to protect Belize’s maritime area, including the Belize Barrier Reef System, from offshore petroleum operations. The introduction of the Petroleum Operations (Maritime Zone Moratorium) Act, 2017 in the House of Representatives marks a historic step toward the protection of Belize’s spectacular marine resources and coral reefs, which our tourism industry and the livelihoods of thousands of Belizeans so very much depend on.

The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (BBRRS) has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996. In addition, these marine ecosystems generate an estimated 559 million US dollars annually to the economy of Belize. The introduction of legislation to enshrine a moratorium on offshore oil exploration and operations is line with one of the requirements for the BBRRS to be removed from UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.

The BTIA is pleased to see that the nation’s decision-makers understand and recognize the importance and value of our reef ecosystems, the threats that petroleum operations represent, and the need for the proper management of our natural resources. We must continue to work towards the sustainable development of the tourism industry and of the natural resources of Belize.

We invite the general public and NGOs to attend the Natural Resources and Environment House Committee Meeting scheduled for the 30th October 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the National Assembly building in the City of Belmopan. This meeting will be an opportunity to present comments on the proposed legislation. –END—

For more information, contact:
John M. Burgos
Executive Director
Belize Tourism Industry Association #10 North Park Street P.O. Box 62 Belize City, Belize