The Search for Black Gold across the length and breadth of the Jewel has raised concerns from a number of environmental organizations that oppose oil prospecting. Island residents are not one bit happy about the oil drilling offshore since in a matter of minutes the Barrier Reef could be damaged if an oil spill occurs. Joining in this concern is the Tour Guide Association’s Chapter in Orange Walk as a current development for oil prospecting is near the heart of a sensitive protected area in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai Archeological Site.
Mr. Wilfredo Novelo, member of the Northern Tour Guides Association, stated to 7 News that the association is being proactive since they have seen barges on the river and they only suspect that oil prospecting activities will happen in the new River Lagoon Area.
The Northern Tour Guides Association plans to contact the Department of Geology in order to get an official confirmation or denial if oil exploration will take place in the area.
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage started with seven members in an effort to ban offshore exploration in Belize. The Coalition now boasts membership of 23 conservation oriented organizations and media houses and they chose Tuesday, June 8, Oceans Day to launch their drive to basically force government to revise its position on offshore drilling. A very important group officially joined the coalition, The Belize Tourism Industry Association - the economic backbone of the tourism industry.
“No To Oil Drilling” is the message that the tourism industry and environmentalists are saying. The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage intends to get support from the major banks and the rest of the population.