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Jan 21, 2021

Environmental Groups Reject Port of Magical Belize

There is a significant backlash on the Port of Magical Belize project by a group of environmental N.G.O.s.  The developer is David Gegg, who represents the Port of Magical Belize.  In 2017, Gegg signed a memorandum of understanding with the past administration to construct a docking facility along the south coast of the Sibun River.  In an interview that year, Gegg told News Five that the port would come at the cost of one hundred and fifty million U.S. dollars.  Back then, an environmental impact assessment was not done, but today the National Environmental Association Committee was scheduled to consider and discuss Gegg’s multi-million-dollar project.  However, a coalition of environmental N.G.O.s is saying no to the massive port project.  One of those organizations is OCEANA Belize, whose Vice President Janelle Chanona wrote to the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Doctor Kenrick Williams. Chanona informed Doctor Williams that OCEANA vehemently objects to the proposal to dump dredge spoils in the Caribbean Sea.  Chanona says that the scale of the proposed dredging is unprecedented in Belize, and based on documented international experience, the combined environmental impact will be far more significant than we can even fathom.

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, VP, OCEANA Belize

“We also have to reconcile with the fact that Belize is unique and unique does not mean uncommon. Unique means only here, endemic to Belize and special to Belize and only Belize. The scale that has been proposed from these projects which cannot be viewed separately or in isolation it has to be viewed together is just incredible. It is unprecedented and looking what happenings internationally, we have sent a series of documents that looks at projects. For example what happened with the Miami port expansion, the combine environmental impact there is far greater than even the engineering core anticipating, they are still studying and trying to determine the fallout from all of that. They were dumped on mangroves and has caused a pitiful list of damage and destructions. We have to heed that warming that dredging, how it is typical been done for all these many years has caused and will continue to cause extensive coral mortality and critical habitat loss.”


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