On May 5, 2017 the Belize Fisheries Department, with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, held its Inaugural Meeting of the National Consultation Process with a Focus Group meeting to discuss and develop a set of draft Voluntary Commitments geared towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 14 Targets.
The event was held at the CZMA Training Room in Blize City and was led by Ms. Beverly Wade, Belize Fisheries Administrator who was supported by a highly-capable technical team of Fisheries Officers. The meeting was attended by representatives from government organizations (Coastal Zone Management Authority and Sustainable Development Unit) and a wide cross-section of environmental and non-governmental organizations (The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, Belize Audubon Society, OCEANA, Sarteneja Association for Conservation and Development, Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association and Southern Environmental Alliance),
The meeting participants successfully developed a set of draft Voluntary Commitments that will be discussed and shared with coastal fishing communities during the upcoming consultations with fishers for support and endorsement.
Three other consultations are scheduled to be held in northern Belize (Sarteneja Village - May 17), central Belize (Belize City - May 19) and southern Belize (Independence Village - May 25). These community consultations will target individual fishers, fishers' groups such as associations, fishermen cooperatives and Belize Fishers Federation.