No response from GOB on Seismic testing

Written By Michelle Sutherland

After awaiting a formal response for over a week in relation to the status of Seismic testing; environmentalists have grown restless and have called out the Government of Belize.

Unease set in after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting when no response was given to any of the concerned stakeholders in relation to the matter. In a press conference held on Wednesday, the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage called on GOB to issue an official position on its stance pertaining to seismic testing and offshore oil exploration.

Environmental and Tourism stakeholders were promised this would be the case by Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia last week.

John Burgos, executive director of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) told the Reporter that the ships which came to conduct the harmful seismic testing last week are out of Belizean Waters and the survey is on halt. Burgos added, however, that their concern is over a few other ships which were scheduled to arrive in Belize in late November for similar testing.

The Coalition believes that based on strong public sentiment opposing offshore exploration the government should either establish a legislative ban on oil exploration or enact the Clean Ocean Safe Tourism draft into law.

On Monday the Coalition had written to the Prime Minister reiterating its position while requesting information of all agreements and contracts signed between TGS, the company conducting the survey, and GOB. It also called on GOB to prevent the Brasilis or any other vessel related to multi-beam survey from entering Belizeans waters if no amendment, consultation or information is provided to the public.

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