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Oct 7, 2021

“Stop Work!” NGO’s Want to Halt Stake Bank Causeway

A number of non-governmental agencies are up in arms over two causeways related to the Stake Bank/Port Coral/Ocean View Grand cruise project which have reportedly been “approved.” If this is the case, they want the causeway work stopped until there can be public consultations. The organizations, which include Oceana, the Belize Audubon Society, the Mar Alliance and the Nature Conservancy among others, point to a recent media appearance by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Orlando Habet, who admitted he had not seen the Environmental Compliance Plan for the causeways but asserted that approval was initially granted in 2013 and then re-granted in 2019. The NGO alliance says their 2020 request for disclosure via the Freedom of Information Act did not include any documentation on a 2019 ECP approval. To date, they say, the purported 2019 ECP for the causeways has not been made public. Furthermore, none of the members of the 2019 National Environmental Appraisal Committee could recall any discussions regarding causeways. If approval was given without NEAC’s input, the NGOs say this   would indicate a failure to comply with EIA Regulations. They want the Department of the Environment to issue a stop order until Cabinet has made a decision based on new Environmental Impact Assessments and meaningful public input.

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