On Saturday, OCEANA Belize staged a countrywide event called ‘Hands across the sand” where those opposed to offshore drilling lined up at their respective communities to hold hands in solidarity. It’s a symbolic gesture and for those at OCEANA, the images of thousands of people around the globe joining hands sent a powerful message to world leaders.
Viewers may recall in 2013, the Belize Supreme Court ruled in favour of OCEANA’s suit to stop offshore oil exploration. Subsequently, though, the injunction was suspended, and two companies, including Princess Petroleum, continue to have exploration rights. According to documents submitted by Belize to UNESCO, the original concession included exploration rights at Great Blue Hole, a renowned underwater sinkhole, but Princess Petroleum voluntarily gave rights to that area up. Last week after his visit from Miami, the Prime Minister of Belize told the media that all offshore concessions have expired and none will be renewed, at least not right now.
Hands Across the Sand, Across the Land, founded in 2010, grew into an international movement after the BP oil disaster in April of that year. People came together to join hands, forming symbolic barriers against spilled oil and to stand against the impacts of other forms of extreme energy. The cause brings together like-minded individuals and organizations with the conviction to organize a Global movement to promote a clean energy future for our earth and end our dependence on dirty fuel sources.
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