Urgent follow-up on GR action #1/97: Stop logging on Maya Lands
South and Meso American Indian Rights Center (SAIIC), 24 December 1997
We are sending this SECOND CALL for faxes to the Inter-American Development Bank because the IDB decision on funding for Belize has been postponed until January 7. This gives us several more weeks to reach and influence the IDB directors.
And there is new information for them to consider: We have just learned that Belize is in the process of granting permits for OIL EXPLORATION on traditional Maya lands in the Toledo District -- including the Columbia River Forest Reserve.
Instead of including the Mayas in planning for sustainable development, the Belizian government is consistently favoring multinational extractive industries -- logging and oil -- which endanger the forest ecosystem as well as the Maya way of life.
The IDB Directors from Canada and the United States have expressed reluctance to vote for IDB funding for the southern highway, given this new information about Belize's intentions to use the highway to facilitate oil explorations. They, and all the other directors, need to be urged to vote against IDB funding for Belize's southern highway on January 7.