BAN ON OIL EXPLORATION AND DRILLING OFFSHORE AND IN PROTECTED AREAS IN BELIZE
To: Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize
cc. The Honourable Dean O. Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, Belmopan City, Cayo District
We, the undersigned, Citizens of Belize and Registered Voters, acting in reliance on Sec. 2 (1)(b) of the Referendum Act, Chapter 10 of the Laws of Belize call for a referendum to be held with regard to the issue of oil exploration and drilling offshore, in the territorial waters, and those maritime areas claimed by Belize as an exclusive economic zone, and in protected areas in Belize.
WHEREASour maritime resources and protected areas offer unequivocal economic value by providing jobs and income for some 3,000 fisherfolk and 20,000 tourism industry workers;
WHEREAS, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System has been designated a World Heritage Site and deemed as possessing outstanding universal value;
WHEREAS, the invasive nature and the unwarranted risks involved in oil exploration and drilling offshore and in protected areas negatively impacts the economic, social and environmental benefits to the people of Belize;
WE, therefore believe that this matter is of sufficient national importance that it should be submitted to the electorate in the whole of Belize for their views through a referendum.
We, the undersigned, by affixing our personal information and signature, call on the Governor General of Belize to refer this petition, in accordance with Section 2 (3) of the Referendum Act, Chapter 10 of the Laws of Belize, to lthe Chief Election Officer for verification and certification. We call upon the Chief Election Officer, pursuant to Section 2(4) the of the Referendum Act, to proceed with due expedition to verify the signatures on this petition and return the petition to the Governor General of Belize as soon as practical with requisite certification. We call upon the Governor General of Belize, to give the Belizean people an opportunity, via a referendum to vote on the matter of allowing oil exploration in the offshore and protected areas of Belize, pursuant to the provisions of Section 3 of the Referendum Act, Chapter 10 of the Laws of Belize.