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Jun 5, 2013

Cabinet did not approve of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Crawl Caye project

As we reported on Tuesday night, the Norwegian Cruise Line’s proposed one hundred million dollar tourism investment project in Belize is currently on hold. A technical team working with Cabinet’s subcommittee determined that Crawl Caye cannot be developed as a cruise terminal because of “numerous environmental considerations.” And that recommendation was endorsed by cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday. As to the considerations, they likely include that the caye is located within the parameters of the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is currently in danger of being delisted because of development concerns in the reef system. The mega tourism project has been top on the agenda for environmentalists who have by and large expressed opposition because a Master Tourism Plan recommended only pocket tourism for the peninsula. News Five spoke today to Minister of Labor, Godwin Hulse, who chaired the ministerial committee that examined the Crawl Caye proposal.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour

“There was a presentation by our technical side in response to the upgraded made by NCL. Our technical side concluded that even that presentation was outside the parameters required to give the green light for a development on Crawl Caye. So Crawl Caye is off the table and we’ve informed NCL accordingly. But that does not mean that we are not continuing to dialogue with the people. We must understand that this is a huge investment. NCL is a reputable company. This is a world class cruise company and any investment proposal to our country that can enhance jobs, enhance growth and create a better life for people, we can’t just simply shush away. We have informed them of that. They have not completely withdrawn. We are continuing to talk and we will see where we go from here.”

 

Reporter

Godwin Hulse

“Okay sir, what is their position now that you’ve given the response that Crawl Caye is a no go?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Well they will continue to look and see what is possible. But our view is that in any of these situations, we should work—work with our people and work together. I mean it is not a question that Belize is in the position to say to any investor bye, bye that doesn’t work. We have to sit down with them and formulate what possibly could be win-win situations.  There are a lot of talks in the south about cruise tourism, but there is no denial of cruise tourism. So let’s find something that works.”

 

Reporter

“So the government will still continue to consider cruise tourism in southern Belize?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“Well there is a Master Plan that says so. The dialogue is the size, the carrying capacity of the various sites, etc. But nobody can deny that if a boat of people landed in Punta Gorda to buy stuff; if a boat landed in Hopkins or any of these coastal villages that could spurn small businesses; that could start to move things with taxi men, small buses—it would be a good thing. I think what the consultation said was look at the size, look at the capacity, look at the capacity to deal with it so that we don’t destroy the very things we have. I don’t think they said it is not possible. And so we continue to talk to people and talk to people and talk to people. I’m a solution person and not a problem person. I don’t turn away nothing. I like to trumpet the ASR position. And when they were potential investors, there was human cry from the cane industry—oh it’s gonna do this; it is gonna do that; there were so many negatives. Look at the results…the first crop finished in record time, finished in the dry, dividends being paid in June here; people are happy, the chairman is Belizean.”

 

Jose Sanchez

“Is Harvest Caye being considered as a alternative to Crawl Caye?”

 

Godwin Hulse

“They haven’t suggested that to me as yet. I understand there is another caye that is being looking at. You have a name that you are throwing out that I haven’t heard. So…”

 

Jose Sanchez

“I was told EIAs have already been done for Harvest Caye and it is possible. Harvest Caye is also within the World Heritage Site.”

 

Godwin Hulse

“I haven’t heard the name. They haven’t spoken to me of any potential site that they are looking at. So I won’t comment on that.”

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1 Response for “Cabinet did not approve of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Crawl Caye project”

  1. UDP's joke that keeps giving says:

    “numerous environmental considerations.” seems convenient.
    when did UDP start caring about this?

    obviously this does not apply to Mayan ruins & Denny Grijalva.

    keep the corruption officers elected and working until the last coin is stolen.

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