BELIZE CITY, BELIZE – February 22, 2016. The Honorable Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development has announced the recent decision made by the government of Belize on February 9th 2016 to endorse Belize’s first National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (“the Plan”). This announcement was made during the Deputy Prime Minister’s keynote address delivered at the Official Opening Ceremony for Coastal Awareness Week 2016 being implemented by the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute under the theme, “The Coast is Ours...Let’s Climate Proof-It!”
In his keynote address, Honorable Gaspar Vega stated that government’s decision to endorse the Plan is “a reaffirmation of this government’s commitment to fulfilling the national agenda for growth and sustainable development.” He further stated that government is fully committed to the implementation of the Plan, which “signals a pioneering step towards strengthening the governance of coastal resources through the strategic transition from sectoral management to a coordinated, cross-sectoral decision making regime”.
The Plan, a first of its kind for Central America and the wider Caribbean region, is comprehensive, founded on strong-science, and informed by an extensive stakeholder engagement process. The Plan blends conservation goals with current and future needs for coastal development and marine uses that relate to Belize’s key economic sectors. Its science- based zoning scheme and policy actions will ensure that the economic returns from key coastal resources are maximized while minimizing environmental impact and, where possible, enhance ecological health.
An electronic copy of the full National Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan may be accessed online at http://www.coastalzonebelize.org/?p=1390
For more information, please contact the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute at:
Princess Margaret Drive, P.O. Box 1884 Belize City, Belize
E-mail: info [at] coastalzonebelize.org