Monday, 10 May 2021 09:01 GMT

Belize reveals blue economy 100-days plan

(MENAFN - Caribbean News Global)

By Government press office | BELIZE

BELMOPAN, Belize – The ministry of blue economy and civil aviation has announced its achievements since November 2020, together with the establishment of a policy and planning unit to guide the process of developing the ministry's five-year strategic plan. Additionally, the ministry will develop policies to facilitate the implementation of the strategic plan.

Minister Andre Perez and the staff of the ministry of blue economy and civil aviation said they 'are prepared and motivated to move forward with its future goals, noted continued support of the fishing industry and fishermen cooperatives to manage their resources sustainably. The management of marine resources for the socio-economic development of Belize and the creation of a development plan for the deep sea fishing industry in the Exclusive Economic Zone, among other plans.'

The 100-day plan progress report reads: 'It gives me great pleasure to share with you that our ministry's progress report presented to the prime minister's office demonstrates incredible accomplishments in a short period of time. With the support of our staff at the Fisheries Department, Coastal Zone Management and Institute, Belize Department of Civil Aviation and the Belize Airport's Authority, we will without a doubt meet and surpass the goals set in our 100-day plan."

Below highlights some of our major accomplishments of the first 100 days.

  • Establishment of the ministerial offices fully staffed, furnished and equipped with budget for 2020/21;
  • Commenced the establishment of a policy and planning unit to guide the process of developing the ministry's 5-year strategic plan for blue economy as well as for civil aviation as well as to develop policies which will facilitate the implementation of the plan;
  • Continued support of the fishing industry and fisherman cooperatives to manage their resources in a safe and sustainable manner including visit to cooperatives and meetings with fisherfolks in Sarteneja, San Pedro and Caye Caulker. Lobster season extended in response to the call from cooperatives;
  • Sustainable management and use of the Belize Reef System, coastal and marine resources for the socio-economic development of Belize. Exploring interests expressed for management of Corona Reef in recently declared expansion of Sapodilla Cayes Reserves; Acquisi tion of funds from PACT to address infrastructural needs of facilities and Marine Reserve Stations; Stony coral nurseries established in Bacalar Chico, Hol Chan and Caye Caulker Marine reserves;
  • Development plan for deep sea fishing industry in our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Funds identified for training in deep slope fishing technology and data collection for finfish and 420 licensed fishers for finfish are actively involved in harvesting of finfish for domestic mark;
  • Establishment of a new Board of Directors and a new business plan for the Belize Airports Authority;
  • Newly reconstituted and empowered airline development committee to enable and foster the development of new air routes and markets to Belize;
  • Improved facilitation services offered at the PGIA with the intent of making mentioned process more user friendly;
  • Re-constitution of a new board of directors for the Coastal Zone Management Authority (CZMA);
  • Initiation of an external evaluation of the implementation progress of the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (2016) in order to address bottlenecks/challenges and identify specific recommendations/solutions to improve delivery in an updated version of the ICZM Plan;
  • Have started the updating Process of the Belize National Marine Habitat Map that will provide current, accurate information on the spatial coverage of natural assets in the coastal zone and the Blue Economy sector;
  • Protecting Belize's Coastal Ecosystems through the NDC Process given their role in climate regulation, mitigation and adaptation. This includes completion of national target setting and rationalization exercise.
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