As demonstrated through our support for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14) and the Commonwealth Blue Charter, Belize is committed to developing our coastal and marine resources in a way that will sustainably promote growth, jobs and investment whilst also safeguarding the health of our seas and ecosystems, and the wellbeing of our people.  To this end, the United Kingdom (UK) and Belize Governments are collaborating on the development of a Maritime Economy Plan (MEP) for Belize.  It is envisioned that the Plan will be tailored to reflect Belize’s national priorities, challenges, and opportunities for advancing a sustainable blue economy.

The Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) has been designated to serve as the national focal point agency to liaise with the Programme’s technical experts for the development of the Plan. During the week of July 29- August 2, 2019, CZMAI and the Office of the British High Commissioner will be hosting a team comprised of the Commonwealth Marine Economies (CME) Regional Manager and Consultants from ATKINS Global. The team will be conducting workshops and meetings in Belmopan and Belize City to get input on the development of the MEP.

The CME Programme was launched in 2016 by the UK Government to support 17 Commonwealth Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in identifying the potential of, and developing, their marine economies in a sustainable, resilient and integrated way. Through the support of sustainable, growing marine economies, the Programme is designed to create jobs, drive national economic growth, reduce poverty, ensure food security and build resilience against forces of nature.

Since 2017, Belize has received technical assistance from CME Programme partners such as the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the UK Hydrographic Office and the National Oceanography Center (NOC). CZMAI would like to take this opportunity to thank the UK Government for the support afforded to Belize through the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme.