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Updated to: 27 June 2011

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Administrative system: relevant features

The Constitution provides for a bi-cameral Legislature which consists of the National Assembly comprising the Senate, with 12 members appointed by the governor general; and the House of Representatives, with 29 seats or members that are elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms.
The executive authority of Belize is vested in Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II, since 6 February 1952), and is exercised on her behalf by the Governor-General. The government of Belize is directed by the Prime Minister, who is also the leader of the governing party or coalition which commands the support of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives.
The Cabinet of Ministers for Belize, consists of the Prime Minister and the other Ministers. The Cabinet shall not be comprised of more than two-thirds of the elected Members of the party that obtains the majority seats in the House of Representatives following a general election and not more than four Senators. Ministers are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister from among members of the House of Representatives and of the Senate. The Prime Minister may also remove Ministers.
There are six administrative districts in Belize: Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek and Toledo. The Constitution of Belize does not recognize the existence and operational structure of local government, but there has, for long, been a presence of official governing bodies at the local levels. The intended function of these forms of local government is to administer certain aspects of the specified area through the election of local representatives. In Belize, there are four forms of local government: city councils, town boards, village councils, and the alcalde system.

Relevant international conventions

  • On August 22nd, 1998, the Convention on Wetlands came into force in Belize.
  • On December 30, 1993, the Convention on Biological Diversity was ratified.

Environmental Standards: relevant features

The Environmental Protection (Effluent Limitations) Regulations are intended to control and monitor discharges of effluent into any inland waters or the marine environment of Belize.
The pollution regulations were developed to monitor and control the releases of contaminants into the air, noise, water, and land.
The Hazardous Waste Regulations were developed in the light of concerns arising from the in-country and trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes. These Regulations address the overall management of hazardous wastes including storage, transportation, treatment and prohibitions.

Country specific terms or acronyms

  • CCAD Central American Commission of Environment and Development
  • DOE Department of the Environment
  • ECP Environmental Compliance Plan
  • EIA Environmental Impact Assessment
  • EAE Strategic Environmental Assessment
  • IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • LLES Limited Level Environmental Study
  • NEAC National Environmental Appraisal Committee
  • NGO Non Governmental Organization
  • SI Statutory Instrument