Offshore drilling proposed in Belize’s barrier reef


Tuesday, May 26th, 2015. BMG: Conservation groups and individual environmentalists throughout Belize have been against offshore oil exploration ever since the government first proposed the idea.

The biggest group protesting the movement today is OCEANA who recently held a national event called ‘hands across the sand’ in which thousands of Belizeans stood in solidarity, saying no to offshore drilling.

Unfortunately, all attempts to dissuade the government seem to have been futile because a new proposal has been made which will open most of our country’s marine area to offshore drilling for oil and gas. This government proposal has quickly been met with opposition by conservation groups as it would allow petroleum companies to drill in seven of our World Heritage Sites including the Great Blue Hole which is listed as one of the world’s top ten scuba diving destinations.

Lawrence Epstein from the Environmental Defense Fund told the press: “By any measure, both the exploration and any sort of accident that might happen could damage the fishing industry as well as the tourism industry.” Vice President of OCEANA in Belize, Janelle Chanona said: “Myriad Sea creatures living in the reefs would be adversely affected by offshore drilling, activists say.

And even exploratory drilling can introduce mud into ecosystems, while seismic testing can disrupt dolphin communication and foraging via sonar.”

In 2012 OCEANA used more than 50 polling stations across the country for voting in what they called the ‘People’s Referendum’ and a whopping 96% of 30,000 Belizean voters opposed offshore drilling, rightfully so since livelihoods can be taken away by this venture.

Belize’s tourism industry which accounts for 30% of its employment will legitimately be at risk if the government decides to ignore the resistance they are facing and deny us a democratic resolution. Reportedly, OCEANA has sent a report of its concerns to the government and officials have agreed to consider it in their decision.


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7 Responses to Offshore drilling proposed in Belize’s barrier reef

  1. Jim Roth Reply

    May 26, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    The government of Belize needs to look at the history of other ddisasters and ask if they want that possibility there. Belize is world renowned for its natural beauty not offshore drilling. As I understand it, the government does not even have the capabilities to address a spill or other resulting disaster. My wife and I have been considering moving to Belize to raise our children. The possibility of this development has our plan in danger. I have no say in the government of Belize but as someone who appreciates natural beauty, this is a bad idea. Do not let money cause you to be short sighted.

  2. Mamita646 Reply

    May 27, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I agree with Jim Roth, Belize is a natural paradise that needs to be preserved. Belize is not equipped for oil spills. The natural beauty is what attracts tourists to it’s shore not oil!

  3. jim pfeiffer Reply

    May 29, 2015 at 5:49 am

    OFF SHORE DRILLING IN BELIZE: “myopic logic resulting in short term thinking”

  4. jim pfeiffer Reply

    May 29, 2015 at 5:55 am


  5. jim pfeiffer Reply

    May 29, 2015 at 5:59 am


  6. jim pfeiffer Reply

    May 29, 2015 at 6:01 am


  7. Pingback: Offshore Drilling Proposed In Belize’s Barrier Reef

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