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May 5, 2014

B.T.I.A. presidents say the EIA process flawed

Herbert Haylock

At this morning’s press conference, B.T.I.A. President Herbert Haylock also made reference to the outcome of a public consultation held in Independence in January as the origin of the impending litigation.  Similarly, Placencia Chapter President, Stewart Krohn, says that the proposed project goes against what has been outlined in the National Tourism Master Plan, a comprehensive outline of tourism and development in Belize.

 

Herbert Haylock, President, B.T.I.A.

“We made specific requests to, in this instance, the D.O.E. on this particular issue asking for and requesting information.  Again, that information was not forthcoming.  You may have all had a chance as well, I think a lot of the media houses here today, had a chance to be at the public consultation that was done in late January.  A number of glaring issues came up at that consultation.  Concerns were raised from the floor, apart from what was submitted in an EIA that were not answered, many more questions, we think, surfaced from this issue, specifically on the front of the socioeconomic arena.  Not to say that there are not a lot of glaring environmental concerns as it relates to the EIA.  Again, in terms of due process, there was an addendum that was provided and some of the legalities of that will come out in the further discussions we have with you all during the course of this session but the addendum as well did not address nor cover, again, some of those concerns and there are additional concerns having taken a look at that addendum.”

 

Stewart Krohn

Stewart Krohn, President, Placencia Chapter, B.T.I.A.

“This whole matter should have been taken care of from the get-go.  As this project was brought to cabinet, the Minister of Tourism should have gotten up and said, “look, this is all well and good, however, this proposal flies totally in the face of our master plan that we have just completed and just spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to do.”  It runs contrary to the plan, this issue should have been thrown out from the start.  The fact that it wasn’t thrown out from the start and has, in fact, gotten as far as it has, that’s an interesting story and I think that maybe that will all come out over the course of the next few weeks.  But simply, some of the reasons we at B.T.I.A. and other organizations are against the project are: A: It’s not only against the master plan, it’s contrary to the specific study that the B.T.B. commissioned two or three years ago in the wake of a previous proposal by Royal Caribbean to have a cruise port in Placencia.  It’s against the advice of every single expert that has ever advised this government.”

 

A date for when the matter will be heard is yet to be set.

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