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Sep 15, 2023

How Many Acres of Mangrove will be Cleared for Port Magical?

Orlando Habet

Much has been made about Portico’s plan to clear an acreage of mangrove trees near the site of the proposed Port of Magical Belize development.  The World Wildlife Fund has also chimed in on the matter, indicating in a previous interview that thousands of acres of tropical evergreen trees will likely be affected.  But when we spoke with the Minister of Sustainable Development earlier today, he refuted those claims.  This morning, Minister Orlando Habet told reporters that the amount to be cleared would not exceed one hundred and twenty acres.


Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development

“Firstly, the information is wrong because it’s not going to be thousands of acres.  I think what is on the ECP is forty-five acres, if I can recall.”



“The World Wildlife Fund’s local rep told us thousands of acres, that’s what she told us.”


Orlando Habet

“Not so, I think it’s forty-five acres in the ECP and I think another sixty-five acres in the dewatering site going out onto the highway.  But I may be wrong, from what I’ve read on the ECP, that’s what’s there.  Somebody had posed a question earlier as to whether or not we had this restoration program and we will restore so many thousand acres of mangrove but that one project will destroy twenty percent.  That is not true.  So it’s going to be a lot less than that because the restoration for mangroves, out of the hundred thousand hectares of restoration under the landscape program is eight thousand acres of mangrove.  So if you’re going to take down a hundred or a hundred and twenty acres, then that’s very, very small.  But any amount of mangrove that is torn down is going to affect the environment in one way or another.  So what we have to look at is really striking that balance of what we want for our development.”

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