Update on the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan

Date: June 12, 2014

Contributed by Samir Rosado, Coastal Planner, Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute.

After three years in the making, the Belize Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan has been completed. In September 2013, CZMAI’s Coastal Planning Unit submitted the final draft of the plan document to its CEO, marking the end of a process that began almost fifteen years ago. The plan sets out to integrate current coastal and marine management policies, identify management gaps, and offer recommendations to support long-term ecosystem health and multiple human use and benefits.

The plan also contains coastal zone management guidelines for nine regions in the coastal zone  that are informed by stakeholder input compiled during an extensive national consultative process, and the best available social, economic, and ecosystem data. Currently, the Plan is in the late modification stage as recommendations from nation-wide Coastal Advisory Committees (CACs) and the general public have been collected and their feedback incorporated. However, the mandatory revision by the CZMAI Board of Directors (BOD) is still pending. This delay in the process is because the Board has to be formally restructured and reestablished. Once this reestablishment takes place, plans can then proceed towards seeking Cabinet’s endorsement of the Plan. Following legal adoption of the Plan, CZMAI will collaborate with enforcement agencies and other key stakeholders to implement recommendations made within the ICZM Plan. CZMAI intends to monitor the effectiveness of the Plan through appropriately selected indicators, and the implementation of program activities such as a water quality monitoring.

CZMAI is also committed to its continued cooperation with and empowerment of the CACs . Public participation and ownership of the national coastal planning process has always been one of the central pillars of CZMAI’s efforts to plan the current and future sustainable use of Belize’s marine and coastal areas.

Read more in the COASTline Newsletter produced by the CZMAI.

To access a copy of the full document, please visit the CZMAI website.