Address at the PlanBelize 7th Virtual Rollout

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Party Leader John Briceño’s

October 16, 2020

PUP Launch of Land in Belizean Hands Policy

The People's United Party's policy on Land in Belizean Hands. Together we can Build a Belize that Works for Everyone! Everybody Fi WIN! Todos Ganamos!

Posted by True Blue PUP on Friday, October 16, 2020

LAND in Your Hands

Go read the detail on the Webpage!!

Our Plan Belize on Land is first and foremost to put Belizean land in the hands of our citizens who for too long have been denied this right.  We are convinced that our people deserve access to land so they can build their lives and raise strong Belizean families.  We say this time it has to be different.

Different for the young married couple with the dream of owning a home of their own.

Different for the young farmer graduating from UB’s school of agriculture and who wants to start a small farm.

Different for the developer who has a great plan for a boutique-style hotel along our ample coast or one who dreams of turning a small area on the beach or a few acres in the jungle into something special.

All this being said, we know that Land is a finite resource.

While Belize is comprised of about 8,867 square miles or more than 5 million acres of land on the mainland and another 5 million acres of what we call marine surface area, acquiring a piece of land in Belize is no easy task. Land in Belize, as in all other countries, is subject to all kinds of influences and pressures, all of which must be used or balanced in such a way that it can be preserved and increased in value over time.

The experts call this sustainable management of this natural resource. They say if we get this right, if we manage our land resource properly, it can be that which changes the way societies in Belize prosper.

I agree.

The proper use and management of our natural resources will help us to reduce poverty, protect and preserve the environment. Of course, what Belizeans want most from their government is land for them to build a home. They want land for nice parks and safe playgrounds for their children.  They want to know that we as leaders have the plan as well as the ability to meet the demand for the expansion of cities, towns, and villages.

Not the kinds of expansion we have seen happening now; an expansion that is occurring in a haphazard, inefficient and unsustainable manner. The kind that is causing squatting and the building of plywood structures in the swamps. They want a properly managed system free from politicization, corruption, and bureaucratic nonsense.

Our farmers and agro producers and entrepreneurs want a government that will make available land for manufacturing, agriculture and increased food and feed production, land for tourism and real estate development, and most importantly they want us to protect the abundant terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity that will ensure that all the plants and animals that make up this rich ecosystem is protected and preserved for generations.

As you just heard, Cordel laid out for you how we can accomplish these goals. He along with our standard bearers and consultants provided you with our blueprint from which we can take away six key elements.

The next PUP government then will do the following:

1)         Ensure that every Belizean over 18 years of age who desires to own a piece of land for housing, urban and rural farming, or business gets the opportunity to do so. We will make it a priority to start with first time landowners, women, and young people.

2)         Partner with city, towns, and village councils and alcaldes to project land needs for population growth. We will do this by carving out land for planned and phased urban expansion. This means making land available for housing, education, recreation, commercial activities, and so on. We want to do this so that we can have planned, orderly, transparent, and progressive development of our communities, always in a way that respects the rights and traditions of all our people.

3)         Simplify, make safe, and modernize the process of applying for land and receiving titles. We will modernize the land registry to allow for online access. We will be transparent and accountable because Belizeans deserve a process in Lands that is non-partisan, friendly, seamless, and convenient. This is our land and we must treat it with respect.

4)         We will reestablish the survey unit at the lands department to fast track the surveying and delivery of land for housing, urban and rural farming, business, commerce and industry.

5)         Align our national development goals with a National Sustainable Land Use Plan which maintains the ecological integrity of the biophysical environment and the cultural landscapes, and which identifies and demarcates land for urban expansion, tourism, agriculture and other development activities based on a criterion of best use.

6)         Mobilize resources for climate-smart development aligned to the national development and sustainable land use plan through incentivizing green and climate-smart urban and rural development and ecosystem services.

En muchos países, aun en los países hermanos de Centro América, ser dueño de una parcela o lote para construir una casa o sembrar granos o vegetales para sobrevivir solo puede ser un sueño.

En Belice todavía hacer eso una realidad. El PUP reconoce los beneficios de la tierra como factor de producción y se compromete a cambiar el modo en que se distribuye la tierra hasta hoy. El PUP reconoce que la posesión de tierra como propiedad le ofrece muchas oportunidades y beneficios a una familia. El norte de Belice (los distritos de Orange Walk y Corozal) son ejemplos típicos y reales de como la posesión de tierra permite la creación de riqueza.

La industria cañera nunca fue de beneficio para los pueblos norteños hasta que George Price les puso estas tierras en las manos a los cañeros. Ese fue el momento bíblico para un pueblo norteño

Hoy me comprometo a que el PUP siga el ejemplo de George Price y hacer que cada ciudadano tenga y ejerza su derecho de ser dueño de un pedazo de este su país. Solo de esta forma podremos ayudar a nuestras familias a sobrevivir y luchar contra la escoria que es la pobreza.

Solo repartiendo la tierra con equidad podremos salir de esta cultura de dependencia que hemos creado…solo de esa manera podremos cumplir nuestra promesa de mantener las tierras en manos de los beliceños para el bien de todos los beliceños.

Fellow citizens the intangible benefit of land ownership and homeownership cannot be overstated. Land in Belizean hands is about lifting people out of poverty in a way that is inclusive and demonstrative. For when we put land in Belizean hands, we ensure that future generations will have it as their inheritance.

In so doing the next generation will be able to look back and say that our generation of leaders dared to be different, dared to stand up for those among us who were traditionally left behind, that we sought to level the playing field, that we sought to make us all equal as we are in the eyes of our Creator.

For us in the PUP, there is nothing false about hope. This policy inspires hope and dreams and aspirations beyond anything we have ever seen. It not impossible to achieve and it is in partial fulfillment of our promise to build a Belize that works for Everyone, where Everybody Fi Win.

Please remember, wash your hands often.  Wear your facemask in public. Keep practicing physical distancing and be kind to one another.

Thanks, God bless, and have a safe and restful weekend.