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Jul 17, 2015

The Fate of Harvest Caye Development to be Decide on Later Date

Godfrey Smith

On the other side of that argument is Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith.  He is representing the Belize Tourism Industry Association, arguing that indeed the developers of Harvest Caye proceeded with public consultation despite being told by NEAC that additional information was required to complete the environmental impact assessment.  According to Smith, they are in breach of due process.


Godfrey Smith, Attorney for B.T.I.A.

“I suppose in summary what we were saying is that there was a public consultation process on an EIA submitted by the developers, Norwegian Cruise Line and their associates in Belize called Belize Island Holdings Limited.  So they submitted that EIA, there was a public consultation as your news station reported, it was filled with errors, deficiencies and they were asked by the DOE to submit further information.  In submitting that further information they attempted to follow the statute by publishing it in the newspapers.  That publication had several deficiencies.  We are saying that the fact that the notice in the newspapers only gave the public one day to review meant that that procedural requirement had been breached.  Our argument is that there can only be a complete, there can only be a proper public consultation on an EIA that is complete.  The laws of Belize say that if you submit an EIA and the DOA asks you to give further information it‘s not complete until you give that further information.  So that the public consultation that they had was on an incomplete EIA.  We tried to persuade the court today that that supplementary information that they submitted wasn‘t only supposed to be published in the newspapers and so on but it must have given adequate time to properly respond because that is the true spirit and intention of the laws of Belize.  Our friends on the other side argued that that wasn‘t the legal requirement.”



“Sir, the attorney for the other side also made the point that this appears that it is a private interest masking its interest as a public issue and that is why they‘ve commenced this claim which they hope that the court would see it for what it is, a masquerade.  How do you respond?”


Godfrey Smith

“I am not sure I understand it.  The claim is brought under the sanction, under the imprimatur of Belize Tourism Industry Association which as I understand it is the leading, if not the only mass-based private sector tourism representative organization with chapters countrywide.  If somebody wants to cast aspersions and say that they are masquerading for some other interest well that‘s not the view I take of the venerable B.T.I.A.”


A decision on the matter has been reserved for a later date.

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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