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May 30, 2013

Healthy Reefs joins B.T.I.A. and FECTAB against Norwegian Cruise Line

The cruise tourism project proposed by giant Norwegian Cruise Lines for Crawl Caye in the south of Belize is going before Cabinet for their approval, and one organization committed to the long term integrity of the reef is doing everything it can to ensure that doesn’t happen. In a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative expresses strong concern about the project and calls for a firm rejection of the proposal. McField asks the question – how could this development possibly be worth it? And today she explained the rationale behind her organization’s position.


Melanie McField, Director, Healthy Reefs Initiative

Melanie McField

“Our letter to the Prime Minister focused on one fundamental question: Could this proposal possibly be worth it. And we grounded our view on four main points. One being the environmental repercussions—they are unavoidable and irreparable; the damages that would occur to that reef system, the mangrove and sea grass all there where they would have to dredge and fill and create the port; that’s very clear. The second point was the World heritage Site. We were listed on the sites endangered due to coastal development in 2009. We’ve been examined every year, we haven’t gotten out of this state; we were hoping we were getting closer because we’ve had some progress. And now this would just totally set us back and I think it is a serious real danger of actually being delisted as a world heritage site. The other two points, one was looking at Placencia as a destination and we have been involved in all of these planning processes over the years. I mean you give your time to all these processes, creating plans and we talk and talk. We have all these wonderful plans on the shelf and we are ignoring them. All the plans have said keep the south free of cruise tourism. Overnight tourism is booming; that provides many more jobs, much more revenue stays in the country. So why mess that up by bringing in cruise tourism? Because it does mess it up; you can’t have both coexist very happily. The good thing about the cruise industry in Belize City, we don’t have a large overnight tourism industry here and it adds a value to the city and we’ve already invested. We got people doing this for their livelihoods; they’ve taken out loans. They’ve built a life off of the policy that the government stated which was we are only allowing cruise ships in Belize City. So they felt confident to go take a loan, build a bigger boat, buy buses; whatever. So in terms of both the national tourism strategy and plans and what it would do to the Placencia area is negative. What it would do to Belize City is to me the worse of all; that’s thousands of people depending on the cruise ships now for at least part of their income. So it will be a big blow to a lot of people and I can’t see how if the government had given enough consideration how they could come out thinking that its benefits outweigh all these costs.”


Mcfield is asking the Prime Minister for a seat at the discussion table where she says they can jointly examine the costs and benefits to Belize. From what she’s seen so far, McField maintains, only Norwegian Cruise Lines seems to benefit from the proposal.

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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1 Response for “Healthy Reefs joins B.T.I.A. and FECTAB against Norwegian Cruise Line”

  1. Storm says:

    Tyrants don’t listen to any opinion but their own.

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