Posted: Friday, October 21, 2016. 1:10 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) has issued a press release supporting the call for a national referendum on offshore drilling in Belize.
“The PUP reminds the public that on the 1st December 2015, the Belize Cabinet adopted a ban on offshore oil exploration in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System and within the 7 World Heritage Sites in Belize. The Government also decided that in the areas falling outside the banned zones, no seismic and exploration drilling would be allowed without conducting stringent environmental studies”, the release states.
According to the PUP, the recent decision by the Government to allow a United States company TGS to conduct seismic testing and multi-beam studies within Belizean waters was done without consultation with stakeholders and the wider Belizean public.
“This was a complete betrayal of the promise made to stakeholders to protect Belize’s natural heritage and further demonstrates that this Government cannot be trusted,” the PUP argues in their release.
“This attempt by Government to conduct seismic surveys is another example of its blatant disregard for good governance, transparency and accountability.”
The PUP also noted that Belize’s marine environment is a precious and critical natural resource to the country’s biodiversity and economic development.
“The Belize Barrier Reef system is a World Heritage site and any seismic activity within or near this system can present a significant impact. Seismic activity represents offshore oil exploration and that is a threat to this resource. Offshore drilling and any activities related to it must be properly ventilated nationally. It was only 4 years ago that thousands of Belizeans signed the People’s Referendum on offshore drilling. Over 95% of respondents said no to offshore oil exploration,” the PUP said.
The PUP end their press release by urging all Belizeans to support an official national referendum on offshore drilling and to support a ban on any seismic and multi-beam tests pending the results of a referendum that determines if Belizeans support or reject offshore exploration and drilling in Belize.
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