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Nov 22, 2012

Minister Lisel Alamilla says NEAC questioned US Capital EIA

US Capital Energy’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) presentation in Sunday Wood Village did not have the desired result for the company, the villagers, the NGO’s or the Department of the Environment.  During that October meeting, an incident involving the director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Greg Choc and Martin Alegria, flared up in the environmental community and prompted the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO) to demand an apology from the Ministry. The government had remained silent while APAMO went on record with a long list of shortcomings in the US Capital EIA. Earlier today at the forum inside the Old Belize Jungle Pavilion, News Five asked Minister Lisel Alamilla if that apology would reach SATIIM.

 

Jose Sanchez

“Minister, the EIA with US Capital. The Toledo Alcalde Association, SATTIIM, and the Mayan Leaders Alliance all believe it was a disaster and they all wanted Mister Alegria to apologize. Small matters first; has that happened? Will it happen?”

 

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development

“Well today we are here to celebrate the declaration of Turneffe Atoll and the signing of the co-management agreement and the information about the Fisheries Aquatic Legislation.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“APAMO has a very lengthy list of items that they say makes the U.S. Capital E.I.A. incomplete. One being that there is no proper plan in case of a disaster strike near the affected villages in the area.”

 

Lisel Alamilla

Lisel Alamilla

“Well first of all, I think that the NGOs need to first be very transparent in declaring that they have representation on NEAC and they have a mechanism for which they can raise their concerns. If their representative is not representing them well at NEAC, then that is something that they should address. I am not privy to all the details; I am not micromanaging every EIA that comes through my ministry. So if they are saying these things, then they should address this through the department of the environment and through their representatives.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Well the reason why they came to the media is because they feel that the items aren’t being vetted properly. Simple things like that there are specific ecosystems in the area that are going to be affected and that’s not addressed in the EIA. Outside of that, they still feel like I have said before, Mr. Alegria should also apologize for that incident that occurred. That was also a very public thing. That does not need NEAC.”

 

Lisel Alamilla

“Well you know what Jose, first of all, let me state that the EIA process is imperfect and it needs a lot of improvement. I have seen that since I have assumed office. So I am not going to at all defend that the process is perfect and doesn’t need to be improved upon. But once you have the legislation in place that guides on the processes of how EIA’s are done and vetted; I can’t in midstream with a developer, change these things at the whim of anyone or any organization. We have to stick with what we have. Where I think we need to put our energies is looking at the EIA process and seeing how we can improve that and use the mechanisms that we have in place right now. I think too often we are caught up in debating the little nitty gritty issues instead of looking at the foundation of what is causing these challenges that we are facing. I think when they send them; they raised the list of concerns. I don’t know the details. I know that NEAC was not completely satisfied with everything and they sent in and asked for more information. That’s what I know. I don’t know specifically what areas they were concerned about.”

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2 Responses for “Minister Lisel Alamilla says NEAC questioned US Capital EIA”

  1. Storm says:

    I had high hopes for Minister Alamilla when she was appointed, but now my doubts are growing.

    First, the US Capital project is a huge one for the Jewel, so I think it is ignorant or arrogant for her to imply she has not looked at it — “I don’t micromanage.” THIS ISN’T MICRO, IT IS MACRO! So I deduce she is either lying to us, or very, very lazy and niot interested in doing her job.

    Second, she admits the law is inadequate — SO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! IT IS YOUR PORTFOLIO!

    If she is not willing to do her job diligently, then she should step aside and let someone else in who cares about this beautiful nation. I’m sick and tired of empty suits, do-nothings, and outright crooks running GOB. [Did I leave out any category of ministers?]

  2. Gone fishing says:

    “We have to stick with what we have.”

    Regardless if it is wrong, or how bad it might become.

    Fait accompli, ride that horse picked out for you.

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