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Oceana and Maya Community Win One Against Oil Drilling in Belize

SATIIM and Indigenous Mayan Communities Supreme Court Victory is a Victory for all Belizeans – The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize salute the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) for its ongoing efforts to have the indigenous rights of the Maya of Southern Belize respected.

Madam Justice Michelle Arana’s historic ruling on April 3rd 2014 affirmed those rights when the Supreme Court found that while the Government of Belize has the right to issue permits to explore for oil and even drill, they must consult with the members of the affected indigenous communities to determine what activities can happen on their lands as well as the forms of compensation to follow.

The lesson all Belizeans should take away from this issue is that we all have the inherent right to be part of a consultative and participatory process in the management of our resources – especially when political policies have the potential to cause irrevocable damage.

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