Kirkwood, D. and Matura-Shepherd, Audrey (2011) TOO PRECIOUS TO DRILL: THE MARINE BIODIVERSITY OF BELIZE. Fisheries Centre Research Reports, 19 (6). pp. 1-175. ISSN 1198-6727

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    Belize has a natural resource based economy and its marine resources, particularly the Belize Barrier Reef System and its accompanying Atolls are critical to tourism, Belize‘s number one foreign exchange earner, act as a natural disaster shield and provide food security, thus being a major source of jobs. Oil concessions have been granted by the Government over most of the offshore waters of Belize, including the Princess acreage with an average water depth of 4,000 ft (1,219 m), but there has been little activity to date. However, as plans move ahead to allow offshore oil exploration and drilling in the precious Belizean waters, it is important to consider the negative impact this will have on the 3E‘s: Environment, Economy and Employment. Offshore oil is being promoted as an abundant source of revenues and jobs with minimum environmental damage, yet the oil industry experience in other areas of the world and the facts and figures about Belize are saying otherwise. While the onshore oil industry (outside of the national parks) can be beneficial to Belize, the proposed offshore oil industry activity will be potentially damaging to the 3Es and thus, should not be pursued. This applies even if the additional, non-calculable, value that the reefs and atolls provide to the welfare of Belize and that no oil industry can replace, is not taken into account.

    Item Type: Peer-reviewed Journal Article
    Related URLs:
      Publisher: Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia
      Subjects: (F) People and the Environment > (FA) Environmental Health
      (G) Pollution > (GC) Water
      (Z) Other or Unspecified
      Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
      Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2018 15:30
      Last Modified: 22 Mar 2018 15:30

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