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Jun 12, 2012

Green Tropics apologizes for biological corridor mishap; P.U.P. offers support

Julius Espat

There has been outrage in the conservation community following the news that Green Tropics Limited had dredged a canal through the Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary. Well, there is now word from the company and it is in the form of an apology and explanation. It says that the company, “unreservedly apologizes to the people of Belize for the recent misunderstanding in the construction of the final drain section through the jaguar corridor to the Belize River.” According to the release, the Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A.) had already been submitted with drainage information and that Green Tropics was under the impression that it could proceed to a certain degree to avoid delays that would be caused by the rainy season, since the project has already been in planning for three years. The release further says that; “We were advised that the canal was in line with the natural slope of the land and, as such, merely enhanced the existing water flow with the result that not only was the project site capable of being properly drained, but that it would also directly benefit the reserve area since the canal would also drain its excess water, avoiding inundation of the jaguar lands.” The company explains that it also intends to build U.S. specification type crossings over the canal to allow the animals to roam as freely as they did before and that information was included in the E.I.A. Green Tropics says that five hundred acres adjoining the jaguar corridor at the north end of its property have been assigned as a buffer zone for harboring wildlife. The company is prepared to abide by any mitigation suggestions and compensate for necessary remedial measures. Earlier today Green Tropics received a stamped seal of approval from the Peoples United Party. During this morning’s marathon press conference, Julius Espat, P.U.P. Cayo South Area Representative told the media that Green Tropics is needed in the Cayo District.

 

Julius Espat, Area Representative, Cayo South

“This would generate employment of approximately seven hundred workers at different skill levels; jobs that are desperately needed in the Cayo District. Land in the surrounding areas would increase in value. The project would enable land owners and farmers in the area to diversify into sugar cane production. There would be an increase of new businesses in the area. I am sure the sensationalized news fueled by the government’s reaction only scares legitimate investors away where they quickly criminalize the business community at every opportunity. These guys are serious people. Do you think they really came to Belize to break the law and be environmental terrorists? In summary, the project will help to uplift the standard of living for a good amount of residents in rural Belize and the Cayo District. Government needs to deploy a serious team to assist these investors and make sure that they fulfill all their requirements in an expeditious way.”

 

Green Tropics is building a sugar mill in the Cayo District and had cleared the land to use as irrigation for a sixteen thousand-acre cane plantation. It notes in its release that aside from the slip up at Labouring Creek, the company has complied with all laws and has applied for all relevant licenses, including a foreign investment permit, which has been obtained from the Central Bank; the pending EIA which is to be discussed at a public hearing on July third; as well as permits from Beltraide for the importation of the entire sugar mill and processing facility. The investment is around ninety million U.S. dollars plus annual operational, labor and maintenance costs. Green Tropics has also started negotiations with Belize Electricity Limited to provide up to twenty-nine megawatts of electricity, reducing the dependence on Mexico.

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16 Responses for “Green Tropics apologizes for biological corridor mishap; P.U.P. offers support”

  1. Lucas says:

    Hi Julius: I am Lucas Sanchez Cocom and I hail from Cayo. In my youth, I worked in Middlesex, Bowman and Pomona. I also worked in Riversdale during it’s early beginnings with a certain Guido. I also worked in the cane fields of Douglas wiith the Cardenas family and with Mr. Isabel Vega in San Esteban and with the Romeros in Progresso. Therefore, no one can tell me about harvesting oranges and bananas or harrochar. But, let us be real. Julius, do you believe that the belizean people will want to go and cut sugar cane at tropic farm?. Who cuts our cane fields in the north? or our bananas in the south? or reap our orange fields in the valley?. you are right, FOREIGNERS. Tropic will generate work not for belizeans but for mexicans Guatemalans and Hondurans because we Belizeans will not want to do it just like we do not want to work in the canefields of the north nor in the orange fields of the valley or the banana fields of the south. We Belizeans want office jobs. We are a lazy nation. We are like the kid of old who stands by the bridge and begs a shilling for a bun. I am not against Tropic but, please do not come and tell me they will generate jobs for Belizeans. these foreigners will come and then they will own our land and we Belizeans will be land-less. As the Amandala once said: it is no more Belize but BELICE.

  2. Rod says:

    You cannot go to a foreign country and suppose you could do things try doing that in Iran or north Korea or the us or any country you end up in jail so this sounds like they had permission from the udp gov. Someone got paid find out channel 5 find out.

  3. Earl Grey says:

    Another mis-guided venture…

  4. Mitzi says:

    Who cares whether they came to Belize to break the law. They broke the law, knowingly and appparently with impunity. This is a sophisticated company. They knew that submitting an EIA is not equivalent to approval of an EIA. If they don’t obey our laws in developing their infrastructure, why should we assume they will obey our laws after commencing operations – such as labor laws, social security laws, tax laws, environmental laws, etc. Belize needs jobs, yes. But we also need jobs from responsible corporate citizens who will make our country better, not further degrade it. Great that they plan to do all those things, but why didn’t they put them in the EIA and wait untl the EIA was approved AS REQUIRED BY LAW? Or, can we assume from this that they are in the habit of doing what they want, when they want, the laws be damned?

  5. Storm says:

    The apology doesn’t satisfy me. I would reject the project out of hand because cutting a TWO MILE LONG CANAL through a sensitive sanctuary is such a gross violation of our laws and the national good that the negative of their presence in the Jewel outweighs any possible benefit.

    Kick them out to teach other foreign investors the lesson — they are welcome here, but it is not their right to be here, and they must do so lawfully.

  6. lino says:

    It is sad that only the PUP see the benefits of this project. Progress brings problems. Jaguars never jumped or got over other bigger rivers in Belize before?

  7. Belizean says:

    @ MITZI AND STORM. You know what you are? ANTI BELIZE and ANTI development, anti anything positive!!!!!!!! You guys have no insight into the prospering of a country. But, like it always is, there is always someone that will try to hinder advancements. Im sure you would like if there was no local food production right? Just go to a supermarket and BUY everything!! Green Tropics must prevail, as this is at least one positive thing that Belize can do to improve our economy

  8. Mr J says:

    While I do not oppose development of this kind, the issue here is that this International Company broke the laws of Belize (Three Acts: Mine and Minerals Act, National Park Systems Act and Environmental Protection Act), it did not have the necessary permits to construct such a canal. This is a case similar to that of the owners of the Hydro Maya that had bulldozed acres of the Bladen River Nature Reserve and the Columbia Forest Reserve in violation of Belizean laws. The submission of an EIA to DOE does not constitute immediate approval by Government of any recommended actions expressed in that EIA.

  9. Storm says:

    Belizean, will you destroy Belize for a shilling today, and leave a wasteland to all the future generations?

    THAT attitude is anti-Belize, and all its future!

    I’ve often said here we need HONEST foreign investment to create jobs and develop prosperity. THIS PROJECT ISN’T AN HONEST FOREIGN INVESTMENT.

  10. Belizean says:

    Where did you get the dumb idea about a shilling? I know a shilling doesnt last long. U also know 90 million + dollars investment is for the long long future ahead, bringing back food YOU YOURSELF will eat!!!! This operation has already brought jobs, many jobs, and will bring many many more. Oh, by the way, I dont think you will stop this company from bringing gain to this country

  11. drose flowers says:

    JULIUS ARE YOU .. CRAZY DUDE? THESE FOREIGNERS ARE ABUSING OUR COUNTRY!!!
    HOW DARE YOU TALK ABOUT JOBS, THERE IS INDEED A LOT OF JOBS, BUT SOME OF OUR PEOPLE JUST DON’T WANT TO DO THE TYPE OF JOB AVAILABLE.
    WHY ARE DEFENDING THE FOREIGN COMPANY? ARE YOU AN INVESTOR DOING ALL THESE ILLEGAL PROJECT???
    AS USUAL PUP STYLE!!!!

  12. Eye in the Sky says:

    It is just a nasty jungle full of malaria, snakes and mud.
    Nobody wants it until someone got it. Typical belizean style.
    Just put a canal through it and a superhighway to a huge Wallmart. Then we might be happy in Belize.

  13. Gustavo says:

    Calm down guys. Either Tropic Green jumped the gun or the authorities were dozing. Every intervention has an impact on the environment. Every one of our communities are environmental disaster areas, just look at the garbage and the lack of adequate sewage systems. Let’s think about mitigation measures and order that these be implemented and let us move ahead. Please!

  14. me says:

    I think some people are so ignorant, that instead of being grateful to those people who invest in our country, they criticize. They do criticize Chinese for invading Belize and settling business here but they don’t realize that apart of them providing job to our Belizean they are contributing to the economy when paying taxes ,social security etc. So what is the point of wanting to stop foreigner of investing in our country. some belizeans are selfish they don’t do and don’t allow others to do. How can Belize ever develop with such a mentality. I believe that there should be a balance whereas we should conserve nature but also bear in mind that our Belizean people are in need of employment.

  15. sunlovin says:

    May of you may not remember this but 20+ years ago we used to go to chetamal to shop and the city was no city at all. Much poorer then belize city. Now twenty years later we still look the same but chetamal now looks like a city in the US. Why? The mexican gov. invested in agraculture to boost its GNP. So these guys have invested almost 100 mil USD and three years and you want to kick them out!?! And why isnt the EIA done yet? my guess is some gov office will not do the we pay them to do because they are waiting for a hand out. third world mentality = third world.
    As long as a countrys forign cash reserves are flowing out of the country for every day things we need to live, like food we will never get ahead.

  16. Brains says:

    All points taken… not all of them make any sense.
    Foreign investment in a third world country is the only way that it will no longer be a third world country. With locals tax payers money a country like Belize or Belice whichever you want to call it, it wont stop be a Beautiful Nation. Therefore coodos to Green Tropics and to the local and National Government. I am happy to see so many people benefiting from this operation. If people dont want to work then what they want to do? Sit on their sofa sets, scratch their balls and expect a pay cheque at the end of the week. Nah… that wont work. The canal has done little to none in terms of damage. At least nothing that cant be fixed. If they knew or dont about the P.A. thats a different story. And of course the operation creates office jobs. I dont think you will do the accounting in the cane field and the harrochas from an office. Analyze and then you proceed in commenting

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