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Belize~ The Sargassum Blessing

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2019. 1:19 pm CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.

By Richard Harrison: Belize, like many other Caribbean coastal areas, is being blessed with tons of sargassum, marine algae.

While many view this as a problem, others can view it as an opportunity.

The “problem” is because it piles up on the beaches forming a muddy sludge which smells aweful as it ferments…and renders the white sandy beaches and cristaline swimming waters unbearable to beach goers…dangerously reducing the value of the “sun, sea and sand” lifestyle and vacations.

The opportunity is to find value and utility for this renewable resource.

One of the more obvious ways to derive value and utility is to daily harvest this resource from the beaches and to recover cost by selling as landfill to private property developers….or as landfill for public property.

As it is not viable for each property to invest in the machinery, equipment and labour to convert this latent value…the general good can be served if the local and central governments would allocate a small budget for private small contractors to be employed for this purpose…at least in the highly visited areas of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, Hopkins and Placencia.

The material recovered must be sold at a fair value to private customers or as landfill for public property that can accommodate hospital, office buildings, playgrounds, schools, etc after compaction and covering with solid material…the idea is to at minimum achieve a cost recovery formula in cash and reclaimed land…while at the same time serving the community and tourists with white sandy beaches and cristaline swimming waters…which is one of the highest value for living in or visiting Belize.

This is very practical and easily doable…and we already have all what it takes to get it done…all we need now is the initiative and voluntary will…and that will create the small budgets needed to jumpstart small contracts and get the ball rolling…and the sargassum suddenly becomes a blessing rather than a curse.

Some of the climate change millions could form part of the seed money…PACT and Audubon earns millions from marine park fees and would be more than willing to invest…the town and village councils would recognize this value by taking a stake in this effort…the BTB would rapidly apportion an investment package…the Port Authority…IMMARBE…and other marine based revenue generators can all join in…and the Government of Belize is just waiting for a proposal of this kind so that it can allocate its own budget towards this valuable investment.

How about when risk is turned into opportunity?

Go for it Belize! Gooool!!!!!!

Sargassum turns to gold…

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