Climate change is a global phenomenon that greatly impacts urban life. In Belize, national reports indicate that climate change is already having significant impacts on the territory, population, and key economic sectors. The City of Belmopan is a city that was designed as a response to natural disasters, to ensure the country would have a functioning capital despite the storms, even before climate change was an issue in our collective minds.
The Climate Action Guidelines document for Belmopan intends to be a strategic direction document that provides a roadmap to the main activities the city must implement in the following years to address the climate crisis and consolidate itself as a carbon-neutral city that is resilient to the effects of climate change. This document is the result of a participatory planning process, led by the City Council, which describes the city’s current carbon footprint and analyses vulnerabilities, to propose climate actions and objectives.
The current City Council of Belmopan was elected in March 2021 for a period of 3 years. The Council members drafted a strategic plan which presents vision and mission statements, focuses on values, and provides guidance for departmental planning.
The city of Belmopan vision for its climate action guidelines is of a safe, equitable, and innovative city, that is better prepared and more resilient to the impacts of climate change, developing sustainably and with low emissions.
It has been established a plan of 7 mitigation (M) actions, 7 adaptation (A) actions and 5 Cross-cutting activities, to be done by 2024. They are summarized here below:
M1. Conduct GHG emission inventory for the city and develop monitoring plan.
M2. Promote tree planting in public and private land.
M3. Reduce burning of waste: Closing of the municipal dump with the operation of the transfer station. Improvement of waste collection to eliminate household and field burning.
M4.Reduce emissions from solid waste by reducing organic waste going to landfill.
M5. Reduce emissions from wastewater and septage management.
M6. Develop pedestrian and bicycle routes beyond the city center, that are secure, well illuminated, and safe to use.
M7. Reduce vehicle emissions
A1. Revise and enforce building regulations to ensure new construction improves resilience.
A2. Conduct a city-wide infrastructure risk assessment.
A3. Develop a Climate Risk Management Plan.
A4. Improve storm drainage infrastructure.
A5. Protect and increase permeable areas
A6. Develop and implement a watershed management plan for the Roaring Creek to ensure long term water availability for the city.
A7. Promote food production within city limits to increase food security
C1. Develop and implement a broad education program to sensitize the citizens and communities in Belmopan towards climate action
C2. Train and equip city officials to be able to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate climate actions, and to mainstream climate into municipal policies and management
C3. Improve data production at the city level
C4. Develop partnerships to improve City Council capacity to address climate change.
C5. Develop long term land-use plans that accommodate urban growth without negatively affecting emission and reducing risks.
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