Belize is renowned for its beauty, as has been recently highlighted by the many tourism accolades it won during 2013. Â Many people come to Belize simply to enjoy the stunning marine environment on offer, with divers visiting Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Town purely to step into this magical underwater realm. Â Now, Janelle Chanona, a veteran journalist, has been named as the new leader of Oceana in Belize, helping the organization protect the marine environment.
On January 6th, it was revealed that Ms. Chanona will replace Audrey Matura-Shepherd who left the position on August 22nd, 2013. Â Her previous work as a news-anchor and journalist will set Ms. Chanona up well for leading OceanaÂs efforts in protecting BelizeÂs stunning barrier reef. Â Andrew Sharpless, OceanaÂs chief executive officer, revealed: ÂWe are very lucky to have Janelle join Oceana. She has the right combination of skills and passion to be an excellent leader and to help Oceana win policy victories that protect BelizeÂs amazing barrier reef and its marine resources.Â
Ms. Chanona is not only a graduate of BelizeÂs St. JohnÂs College, but also has a degree from BaltimoreÂs Loyola College and a MasterÂs degree with distinction from BritainÂs Nottingham Trent University. Â Formerly a report and anchor with BelizeÂs News 5, she has branched out on her own, setting up a production company. Â With this organization, she has already made several documentaries about BelizeÂs environmental groups. Â She is also an extremely keen diver and has visited BelizeÂs barrier reef on many occasions.
Talking about the need to protect the Western HemisphereÂs largest reef, Ms. Chanona revealed that her greatest wish is to ensure that the marine habitat is around for future generations of Belizeans to enjoy. Â ÂI am convinced that our future and development as a country depends on it,Â she added, indicating that she believes that tourism and diving will continue to be a major part of the nationÂs attraction and income for many years into the future. Â ÂI am excited,Â she also revealed, adding that there was a great base to build on, thanks to the previous efforts of Oceana and Ms. Matura-Shepherd.
With diving remaining a popular pastime for visitors to Belize, news that the nation has an Oceana representative once again will be extremely good news.