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Aug 28, 2012

Green tropics given the green light

Martin Alegria

Green Tropics is a Guatemalan company that intends to build a sugar factory, along with a refinery and cane fields complemented with an energy generation facility. But while its Environmental Impact Assessment was being reviewed, the company dug a canal approximately fifty feet wide and four miles long through a protected biological corridor. A stop order was immediately issued to the company by the Department of Environment that has been fine-tuning its industrial plans for the past three years. And while the company has pledged to repair damages done to the corridor, the Ministry and Cabinet have decided to settle matters outside the court system. However, there are other aspects that the Forestry Department must address concerning the Protected Areas component and the damage assessment. But according to Chief Environmental Officer for the Department of Environment, Martin Alegria, Green Tropics can continue with it’s business venture.

 

Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer, D.O.E.

“Three months ago or so this issue blew up and we reacted as we should have basically issuing them an enforcement notice which is a precautionary approach—asking them to come in and regularize and look at the issues and such. At that time we asked them to one suspend all the environmental screening process because it was the issue at hand. They had advanced to a certain level but didn’t complete the last ten fifteen percent. And we basically informed them that there would be a damage assessment by Forest Department. Based on the assessment and the damage done, the value of the damage done, we had submitted our recommendations to the ministry as per usual. Two weeks ago or so the ministry responded to us and last week I wrote a letter to the owners of Green Tropics basically saying two things: that the government and the ministry has agreed with our recommendation and the out of court settlement that they had proposed, requested, but for the maximum penalty if the court issue would have gone. And secondly to lift the stop order and proceed with the environmental screening with the condition that they address certain issues that had arisen at the highest level and the technical level and issues that needed to have been included in the EIA—some may have been in already, some needed to be added on. So about twelve thirteen of those issues that needed to be address. And we sent a copy of those concerns that they need to address in a revise and updated EIA because it has been suspended for the past three month.”

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3 Responses for “Green tropics given the green light”

  1. No Name says:

    Mr. Martin is Allegre, Conento, Alegria; it would be good for the general public to know of the many private meetings that were held between Mr. Alegria and rep from Green Tropics, what gifts were given to Mr. Martin and the different environ (mental) officers, I know about the meetings. Others from the Public should know also. It’s a good thing Green Tropics will be doing, but hey have to stop paying out big monies to Public figures , because if they continue to drop money like they have no limits when they are ready they will abuse the employees and the cane farmers because they would have already bought and paid all relevant authorities!!!!! Follow the money the man used to say!!!!!

  2. Jose says:

    Hmmm!!! A no trust the Government, I have to side with Green Tropics on this one. Jaguars and other wildlife can live together in development along with humans. come one..GOB.

  3. Hugh O'Brien says:

    Great job Martin, and do not be distracted. U are known as a very objective and honest public officer. In fact the green tropics issue was really blown out of proportions by an anti-business aura in Belize. for years our sugar industry’s policies have included industry expansion, bringing new processing plants into Belize, using irrigation to improve yields, generate as much local power using sugar fiber or bagasse, and refining sugar in Belize so that we can add more value to raw sugar locally. Green Tropics is doing all this plus creating almost a thousand new much needed jobs, so we should encourage their investment.

  4. wormoil2002@yahoo.com says:

    What you all fail to realize is the repercussions of the environmental damage to the corridor! I am sorry for those who will now start experiencing flooding and other direct and indirect impacts in the long run.

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