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janellOceana, the world's largest international ocean conservation group, has a new leader for Belize. The announcement, that former Belize newscaster and Belmopan native Janelle Chanona will lead Oceana's efforts to protect Belize's barrier reef was made today. Chanona replaces Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd who vacated her position on August 22nd, 2013.


"We are very lucky to have Janelle join Oceana," noted Oceana CEO Andrew F. Sharpless.


"She has the right combination of skills and passion to be an excellent leader and to help Oceana win policy victories that protect Belize's amazing barrier reef and its marine resources."


Chanona, a former reporter and anchor with News 5 in Belize, most recently ran her own media and production company. She has produced documentaries for several environmental groups in Belize. She is a graduate of St. Johns College in Belize, of Loyola College in Baltimore in the United States and received a Masters degree with distinction from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom. As a passionate diver, she is a frequent visitor to Belize's barrier reef.


Via press release Chanona stated and we quote “My greatest wish, and the reason I took this job, is to ensure that the reef that all Belizeans love and depend on is protected and made healthier than ever before, I am convinced that our future and development as a country depends on it.”


Chanona’s work which commences today will be to lead Oceana's campaigns in Belize - which will include efforts to stop offshore drilling as well as efforts to promote responsible fishing practices in Belize's waters.


According to Chanona she is excited to take over the job. “We have a great base to build on, thanks to past efforts by Audrey and Oceana's partner groups. My first step will be to meet with our allies and supporters, listen and to make plans for the next steps needed to win more campaigns for Belize and our reef." added Chanona.

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