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Belize community resistance

GLAN is supporting ground-breaking work by communities in Belize fighting to prevent environmental destruction and denial of their rights



We are  raising funds to support our legal strategy to fight environmental destruction in the Caribbean


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Pictured: Port of Belize and the nearby communities. Photo Credit: Keisha Rodriquez

The United Black Association for Development Educational Foundation (UEF) is a community-based organization in Southside Belize City who support Black communities impacted by environmental injustice. UEF have been instrumental in raising awareness about the Escazú Agreement among communities most impacted by environmental decision making and played a key role in Belize ratifying the regional instrument.


UEF organised impacted communities to best represent their own interests in resisting a foreign investor Waterloo Investment Holding Limited’s (“Waterloo”) plan to expand the port of Belize (including dredging, the construction of two Oasis-class ship piers, the construction of a cruise tourism village, and the construction of an expanded bulk and containerized cargo area). The Government of Belize (via the National Environmental Appraisal Committee) did not approve the EIA for Waterloo twice given the negative environmental impacts as well as (in the first denial) for failing “to consult with a representative sample of the population that are nearest the project site and likely to be most impacted”. The EIA unit of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management confirmed that it was because of UEF’s advocacy and activism that contributed to this reason being cited in the first EIA denial. This showcases how UEF successfully organized and mobilized working class Belizeans.


Waterloo chose to appeal the decision to deny them environmental clearance before a domestic tribunal. UEF requested to intervene in this appeal process as an interested party representing impacted communities including families in the Jane Usher Community nearest to the Port of Belize, and a Fishing organization.


In December 2023 the Government of Belize announced that they had come to a settlement agreement and would be restoring public ownership of the Port of Belize. In January 2024 UEF were notified that the case had been withdrawn by the developer - a significant win.


Now UEF are examining the controversial "Blue Bond" for Ocean Conservation in Belize to see how the deal will impact local fisherfolk who have been denied access to their livelihoods in a blue-washed form of "ocean grabbing". You can read more about UEF’s work here: 

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