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Mar 13, 2023

Stage Being Set to Hear Waterloo EIA Rejection Appeal

An independent tribunal is being established to hear the Port of Belize’s appeal in the rejection of its Port Expansion Project. The latest development is that persons have already been identified to sit on that tribunal. And, amendments were made to the Environmental Protection Act to exclude the Senator for Business Community from that tribunal. On Friday, reporters asked P.M. Briceño if his administration is picking a fight with Waterloo.


Prime Minister John Briceño

Prime Minister John Briceño

“We will never pick a fight with anyone. It is not in our interest. We want to work with the private sector. We want to be seen as private sector friendly government. We want investments in Belize, both locally and international investments. We want to be able to develop and we can’t do it by ourselves. It has to be with the private sector. With the issue of the Port of Belize or Waterloo, as we said everybody has to follow the law. Now that the EIA was rejected, the next phase is that you can appeal. They have appealed and now we have to set up a tribunal.  The point is that under the regulations, it said that the private sector senator would be automatically a member of the tribunal for representing the private sector.  Unfortunately in this instance, and I am not in any way casting any kind of aspersions to the Senator representing the Business Community, he probably would have done a good job. But the point is, just the perception is there that there could be some kind of conflict, to avoid future law suits it would be better to address it now and try to do it properly. I was just talking to Minister Habet about it and Lucy Fleming was I think the President of BTIA, the President of the Hotel Association, so somebody that is well versed and experienced in the tourism industry and the environment. It is the same thing about the person they got out of Australia, a person that has extensive experience world wide with these issues, including the Caribbean. They felt, after a number of consolations, felt that he would fit the profile of the person we are looking to settle for to be a part of the tribunal.”

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