Offshore Oil Drilling Stopped in Belize

BELIZE CITY, Belize, April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Yesterday, Belize’s Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void, providing a dramatic and potentially definitive setback to The Government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts.

The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall, was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. It effectively ends the Belizean government’s immediate effort to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world.

The court overturned the contracts after determining that the government failed to assess the environmental impact on Belize’s ocean, as required by law, prior to issuing the contracts. The court also found that contracts were made to companies that did not demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds, assets, machinery, equipment, tools and technical expertise to drill safely.

Oceana has campaigned against offshore drilling in Belize for more than two years. In 2011, after collecting the 20,000+ signatures required to trigger a national referendum that would allow the public to vote on whether or not to allow offshore oil drilling in Belize’s reef, the Government disqualified over 8,000 of these signatures effectively on the basis of poor penmanship, stopping the possibility of a vote. Oceana answered by quickly organizing the nation’s first ever “People’s Referendum” on February 29, 2012 in which 29, 235 people (Belize’s entire population is approximately 350,000) came from all over the country to cast their votes. In this historic vote, 96% voted against offshore exploration and drilling. The government subsequently almost lost its majority in the national election that followed these votes. Oceana is fighting for a complete ban on offshore drilling in Belize and believes the Government of Belize should allow the people to express their opinion in an official referendum.

“This is a great day for the people and country of Belize and its democratic process and it shows that we, as ordinary citizens, need not sit back and only complain about all the wrong decisions our Government makes, but that we can use the Judiciary system to settle them,” said Audrey Matura-Shepherd Vice President of Oceana in Belize.

Oceana has long voiced its concern about the potentially devastating impact of an oil spill on Belize’s reef and its economy, which depends heavily on tourism and the barrier reef. The companies were granted the oil concessions essentially in secret. Princess Petroleum, whose contract was just overturned, began as a hotel and casino company before it was granted concession to explore for oil. The company was granted exploration rights by the Government of Belize over the Blue Hole, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular travel destination made famous by legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau.

Bill Lahey, a senior partner at the law firm of Anderson & Kreiger that helped represent Oceana in this case said, “Anderson & Kreiger is honored to have helped Oceana win this major victory which protects one of world’s most precious barrier reefs and tourism in Belize.”

Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Oceana wins policy victories for the oceans using science-based campaigns. Since 2001, we have protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. More than 500,000 supporters have already joined Oceana. Global in scope, Oceana has offices in North, South and Central America and Europe. To learn more, please visit www.oceana.org.

Contact: Jessica Wiseman

Email

202-467-1394

This press release was issued through eReleases(R) Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE Oceana

Web site: http://www.oceana.org

Top Places to Stay in Belize


Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents

Belize Real Estate Opportunities






February 23, 2018

How to Go to Belize Using Credit Card Rewards

Did you know that it’s simple to craft a great Belize vacation on points and miles? If you’ve been wanting...
Read More
February 22, 2018

Found: A New Species of Shark

For decades, scientists thought that all bigeye sixgill sharks, named for their distinct number of gills (most sharks only have...
Read More
February 22, 2018

7 English-speaking and picture-perfect spots for retirement

Don't put the kibosh on your dreams of a beachside retirement in an exotic locale. Retiring to a foreign country...
Read More
February 22, 2018

This Is What Everyone Is Doing For Spring Break This Year—and We’re Fully On Board With It

When it comes to vacation, are you Team Beach-Chair-and-Chill or Team Adventure? Read more: https://www.coastalliving.com/travel/spring-break-travel-trend-2018
Read More
February 22, 2018

Caye Caulker Becoming a Top Tourist Destination in Belize

Caye Caulker is changing. There are lots of new things going on, but life on the island still runs at...
Read More
February 22, 2018

Eco-tourism in Belize & Caves Branch Jungle Lodge

Tourism has come a long way since Thomas Cook first began printing railway timetables over a century ago. Read more:...
Read More
February 21, 2018

Ft. Lauderdale to Belize City $179 Round-Trip, Nonstop on Southwest, April & May

Fly nonstop from Fort Lauderdale to Belize City for $179 round-trip on Southwest. Read more: https://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/44250411/ft-lauderdale-to-belize-nonstop-on-southwest-april-may/
Read More
February 20, 2018

Teds Travel – The wonders of Belize

Teds Travels – The wonders of Belize Anyone who doesn’t know about Belize finds the travel destination fascinating. Read more:...
Read More
February 20, 2018

Belize contributes to ‘Dollar for the Caribbean Relief Fund’

BELIZE CITY, Belize (CMC) — The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has collaborated with tourism industry stakeholders in raising US$59,934 as...
Read More
1 2 3 12

Comments

comments

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Login

Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password

Register

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Banner-1