Conservation Oversight

Conservation Oversight Program
Near the end of 2015, Turneffe Atoll Trust initiated a much-needed Conservation Oversight Program for Turneffe Atoll which will closely monitor development to ensure that the environmetal laws of Belize are observed.  Belize is recognized as a world leader in conservation and its decision makers have passed good environmenntal laws.  However, these laws are not always vigorously followed by the permitting agencies, often leading to unfortunate  environmental consequences.  We hope to provide the leadership at Turneffe to avoid the negative consequences.
 
Our Conservation Oversight Program will:
  • Communicate with permitting agencies to obtain early information about development applications at Turneffe and then ensure that applications are properly processed.
  • Ensure that stakeholders are notified early in the process and given adequate time to respond to development requests.
  • Provide important environmental and engineering information for permitting agencies to assist them in their decision making processes.
  • Insist that all developments meet the environmental standards and legal requirement of Belize. This will include seeking  legal intervention when necessary.
  • Vigorously monitor all development at Turneffe to see that Environmental Compliance Plans are closely followed.
  • Ensure that development at Turneffe Atoll is consistent with the principles of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve and the long-term environmental, economic and social sustainability of Turneffe Atoll and Belize.
These efforts will require increase in staff including legal counsel and environmental experts.  At the time of this writing (February 2016) we have initiated our first legal challenges related to two very destructive and ill-informed projects recently permitted at Turneffe.