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Wildlife Conservation Society congratulates government for protecting mangroves

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Posted: Friday, June 22, 2018. 3:24 pm CST.

By BBN Staff:  The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today congratulated the Belizean government on the passing of the Revised Forest (Protection of Mangroves) Regulations, which will be coming into effect on Saturday June 23.

This new and improved law is another target met under the Desired State of Conservation in removing the Belize Barrier Reef System (BBRRS) from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

The Mangrove Regulations displays the important role mangroves play in the World Heritage Site and Protected areas as well as providing stricter measures or control mechanisms to the protection or alteration of mangroves.

According to WCS, the new revision will include expanded definitions on different types of mangroves needing management, protection and activities permit in their ecosystems. There will also be expansion requirements for selective mangrove trimmings, insurance permits with technical considerations in regards to tourism, economic benefits, environmental impacts and strengthened protection for the Barrier Reef’s coastal mangroves.

Lastly, the revised law increases repercussions in instances of violations to the new regulations, while establishing a technical review panel with expertise in coastal zone management, fisheries management, environmental impact assessment and land management in reference to reviewing application for certain mangrove clearance.

According to WCS Belize Country Director, Nicole Auil-Gomez, “The updated mangrove legislation provides the framework to safeguard the remaining stands of mangrove forest, crucial to the life cycles of a plethora of marine life. The wide benefits to land security, fisheries stability, tourism diversity and infrastructure protection ensure long term-insurance for the nation.”

These regulations were finalized in April of this year by the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and the Attorney General’s Ministry and at the Cabinet in May. Majority in the House approved and it was ratified by the Senate on Tuesday.

 

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