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Minister of Sustainable Development Orlando Habet: ‘We have to balance the economy, the social fabric and the environment’

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Posted: Friday, March 25, 2022. 9:38 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management, observed that his Ministry is often damned if it doesn’t and damned if it doesn’t regarding its works.

But he told his colleagues, “We have to balance the economy, the social fabric and the environment” on $23 million (as of last year), increased by 6.5 percent this year, of which just a few million are set aside for projects and works.

Its target is to strengthen the implementation of the framework for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create a medium-term development strategy along with the Ministry of Economic Development that is “strategic, targeted, impactful and solution-oriented…[and] put #planBelize in thoughtful, rational action.”

It has targeted funding to support displaced persons in six villages across the Cayo District to adapt to their surroundings.

And on the issue of climate change, Belize intends to become an international leader, Habet said: “We also updated our national determined contributions, that set ambitious targets for the climate change mitigation and adaptation – this includes emission reduction in the energy, transport and forest sectors; key projects that address shoreline erosion, reduction and climate change adaptability of target coastal communities, the provision of electricity to target villages in rural Toledo and enabling a framework to participate in future REDD+ carbon payment transactions and climate finance mechanisms.”

Habet announced plans to phase out short-term forest licenses and strengthen long-term forest management programs by importing some limited species.

The Fire Service is getting a new headquarters in Belize City and more stations in the South, West, and Orange Walk.

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