Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oceana applauds Cabinet decision not to re-issue Opic Concession


Oceana Belize wishes to heartily congratulate Cabinet on their decision today not to re-issue the concession for over 1.14 million acres, formerly held by OPIC under its Oil Exploration and Production Contract.

We believe that this is one of the first steps in demonstrating that we truly live in a democratic country. Now the future decision on whether or not it is beneficial to drill offshore can now lie in the hands of the Belizean People, in the form of a referendum. We call on the Belizean public to become more aware of this highly critical issue, and to show their support for a referendum on the matter by signing the petition currently being promoted.

In a statement, V.P. Oceana Audrey Matura-Shepherd said that “this is indeed a historic moment, and it is good to know that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet recognizes that this is an issue of national importance, and that the mandate of how to proceed on offshore drilling should come from the people of Belize.”

In an earlier letter from Oceana to Prime Minister Barrow, we had indicated that it was in his hands how the history of this issue shall be written. Now we look forward to be able to continue our dialog with the Government, to officially present to them the reasons why we do not support off-shore drilling in Belize.

Cane Farmers Present Plaque of Appreciation to Prime Minister

Press Release - Belmopan, February 1st, 2011 - Today in his Belmopan Office, Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow was presented with a plaque of appreciation by representatives of the Cane Farmers’ Association.

The plaque of appreciation is in recognition of the Prime Minister and his Government’s timely intervention in providing a BZ$10 Million loan to BSI to enable the current crop season to commence, as well as a grant of One Million Belize dollars to the farmers.

The reads of follows: “Certificate of Appreciation: This certificate is awarded to the Honourable Dean Barrow, Prime Minister, for the support given to the cane farmers to provide the third cane payment and for your intervention to have the commencement of the 2010-2011 Crop season. Also, we are very grateful for the One Million Dollar Grant (BZ$1,000,000) which was provided to the cane farmers as a donation.”

Presenting the plaque to the Prime Minister on behalf of the Cane Farmers’ Association was the Chairman of its Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega. The Prime Minister, in response, expressed his thanks for the kind gesture and commended the farmers for the remarkable improvement in the quality of cane being delivered to the factory, thereby ensuring the long-term viability of the Sugar Industry.