By Benjamin Flowers
The Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute launched Coastal Zone Awareness week for the first time in ten years on Monday, September 29.
The week was observed under the theme “Planned development today for a sustainable coast tomorrow.”
The official opening ceremony was held on Monday where Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development Hon. Lisel Alamilla launched it with an address on the importance of Belize’s coastal zone.
The CZMAI also launched the “State of the Belize Coastal Zone Report” on Monday. The report is a compilation of 26 essays from 34 contributors, many of whom are Belizean scientists, addressing the challenges and threats of the coastal zone along with its current ecological standing.
On Wednesday, the CZMAI held the first-ever Coastal Zone Quiz Competition for standard five students. While all students received consolation prizes, the top three winners received cash prizes of $500, $300, and $200, respectively, along with assorted electronic prizes.
On Thursday, 80 people showed up at the BTL Park at 5 a.m. to register for the “Run for the Coast” event. The week’s activities will end on Friday night at the Memorial park with a viewing ofthe winners of the Amateur Film Makers’ Competition.
The video competition focuses on the ideas of amateur film makers. Video entries must be between two and four minutes , and must develop the idea of a sustainable coast.
Director of the CZMAI, Chantalle Clarke-Samuels, told The Reporter on Thursday that the purpose of the awareness week is to highlight what the coastal zone is and focus national attention on the important work of the CZMAI.
We definitely made an impact this year as seen by the public support,” Samuels said, “the turnout for the coastal run on Tuesday morning was double what we had originally planned.”