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May 29, 2014

Chief Environmental officer speaks on tourism development projects

The Puerto Azul Project by an Italian development company has been raising the ire of environmentalists. Last week, ministers Manuel Heredia and Erwin Contreras were at the Cannes Film Festival in France at the invitation of the Italian investors when the Puerto Azul Experience was launched. It is a luxury resort planned for Northern Two Caye and Sanbore Caye which will entail an airstrip, restaurants, three hundred and fifty rooms, golf course and other facilities. Now, the environmental community is opposed to the development because they say it will have negative environmental impacts since it is close to the Lighthouse Reef.  Today, we caught up with Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria who says that Puerto Azul is still on the drawing board and is being refined.

 

Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer

Martin Alegria

“What you know is what I know right now what is out there on the internet and etcetera. So it’s all generalities, it proposal concepts. I know it’s been out there for at least a year and a half or so with changes being done. But it’s all things that we get from, other parties. There is a procedure for some time now that cabinet has a subcommittee that they review these concepts, these megaprojects as we call them and I guess they have their as Mr. Hulse usually says has their little criteria and steps they need to go through before it arrives into the technical realm which environment management and environmental screening is one of those. Unfortunately I have been out for a while now on a long deserved vacation so today by the way coincidentally is the first day back so I will have to check the details and see where we are with that initiative. Like I said yes it has been out there for a while but it hadn’t reached, of what I know it hasn’t reached to the technical nitty gritty yet because the concepts are being refined, downsized etcetera based on other ministries before it reaches us.”

 

Reporter

“You say it’s something that has been out there for a while so you know the proposed location for the site. When you look at the propose location for the sight being that you are the Chief Environmental Officer  Do you foresee any kind of environmental impacts that it could possibly have? Because you are talking about something underground you are talking about a very lavish structure, project that s going to go do you see being in the Lighthouse area any kind of negative environmental impacts?”

 

Martin Alegria

“What I can tell you, I don’t know the details to begin with so I don’t want to comment on something I don’t have details on, that’s where the devil is you know they say in the details. What I can tell you is that there is an environmental screening process that we have been using for years now which tries to balance the approach of investment where yes we acknowledge investment, development needs to occur but at the same time we have key environmental issues that you need to address in terms of developing sustainable and those are the things we insist at the department of the environment that we get official submission of application of any project.  The environmental screening is one such process that will ensure at the end of the day that all critical issues and environment is taken into consideration and addressed prior to any approval, permits or go ahead is given. If history has it you will note that the environmental screening is one such highly technical and professional process.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Chief Environmental officer speaks on tourism development projects”

  1. Concerned says:

    This is a no-brainer, Alegria. NO to Puerto Azul. The area is too sensitive for this type of development. Blue Hole is already seeing more than enough traffic.

  2. H@tari says:

    Alegria and the DOE are a joke. Just a rubber stamp for a corrupt government. Can anyone give one example of how the DOE has acted to protect our environment?

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