World Oceans Day Celebrated

vlcsnap-2014-06-10-19h17m04s121Monday, June 8 was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the oceans that cover more than half of the planet Earth and spawn many forms of aquatic and marine life.

Here in Belize the main celebration was led by the local office of OCEANA which visited the Lighthouse Reef fifty-five miles east of Belize City. Though much of it is under protection, the recent furore over the Puerto Azul project threatens to undermine its sanctity as a spawning ground for species of fish and lobster.

vlcsnap-2014-06-10-19h10m04s4Janelle Chanona- Vice-President of OCEANA

“But we selected Halfmoon Caye because it is more because of the distance (it is 55 miles east of Belize City that Belizeans very rarely get an opportunity to visit).  So, at OCEANA, we believe in giving Belizeans an opportunity to witness firsthand, the amazing natural resources that we have.  I Belize, we took them snorkeling in the Blue Hole, to Halfmoon Caye to see the turtle nesting grounds of the critically endangered hasp turtle, we took them to the observation deck to see the red face boobie birds, and we also did a beach clean-up exercise.  So, we had a day full of activities that one allowed them to witness what we have to engage them meaningfully and to leave a more informed and empowered proactive and participatory in the management of those resources and when it comes to the terming policy going forward, especially when you have proposed initiatives like the Puerto Azul.  That would change vlcsnap-2014-06-10-18h21m15s193the direction that the tourism industry from authentic and genuine Belizean hospitality to that sort of mega tourism factors.  We believe that Belizeans deserve to be consulted on that because we represent a huge shift from one type of tourism to the next”.

Channona says to help protect the fragile environment, there is a switch to renewable energy.

 

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