Conservation groups want government’s position on Puerto Azul project

Conservation groups want government’s position on Puerto Azul project

Lighthouse Reef in Belize. Photo courtesy of http://www.bucketlistbums.com/

PATRICK E. JONES Reporting:The proposed Puerto Azul development project within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll has raised “substantial alarm” within Belize’s conservation community.

An alliance of conservation groups including Oceana-Belize, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People and the Belize Audubon Society today issued a statement calling on government to make an official statement on the exact status of the proposed resort development project.

The conservation community statement also lists 7 of what it says is a long list of questions that needs answers, including whether or not the terms of reference for the project or the EIA has been finalized, whether the presence of Ministers Heredia and Contreras at the project’s unveiling in Cannes, France indicates an official endorsement of the project by government and whether the large amount of money being spent to promote Puerto Azul is not just an attempt to legitimize a “highly speculative venture.”

The Belize environmental community also notes that its concerns are based on the proposed location of the Puerto Azul development project on Northern Two Caye and Sandbore Caye, which are within an environmentally sensitive area.

“Belize’s greatest asset is the pristine nature of its world class natural wonders. To place what can only be described as a theme park for billionaires in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, perhaps the nation’s most valuable natural asset is nothing less than a crime committed against our future generations,” says the statement from the Belize conservation community.

The list of questions put forward that the conservation community says Belizeans need answers to are:

1. The last official word on this project was in August 2013 to announce that a feasibility study was going to be conducted on Puerto Azul. What are the findings of that study? We hereby request that the study be made public.

2. Has a terms of reference for the project or the EIA been finalized?

3. The current plans for Puerto Azul include significant alternations to the natural state of the cayes. How does this plan reconcile with Belize’s tourism marketing strategy of “authenticity”?

4. Does the presence of the Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia and Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection Erwin Contreras at the project’s unveiling in Cannes, France indicate an official endorsement of the project by the Dean Barrow administration?

5. Who paid for Ministers Heredia, Contreras and their entourage to attend the European event? Were taxpayer dollars used or were the project’s developers able to purchase the perception of a Governmental green light by hosting the Belize delegation?

6. How can Belizeans be assured that the exorbitant money being spent on promoting this project is not an attempt to legitimize a highly speculative venture?

7. How will a project of this magnitude impact the local economy of fisher folk, tour guides and tour operators?

The conservation community statement ends by saying that “we welcome investment, and the benefits it brings, but there are many other places in Belize that are better suited to this type of investment that will bring greater benefits to our people with much less damage to our precious environment.”

Blog courtesy of www.patrickjonesbelize.com.

 

Top Places to Stay in Belize






Belize Tour Companies and Travel Agents

Belize Real Estate Opportunities






June 29, 2018

How the Belize Barrier Reef Beat the Endangered List

An oil drilling moratorium, development restrictions and fishing reform has helped the 200-mile-reef come off Unesco’s endangered world heritage sites...
Read More
June 26, 2018

What the New Alaia Belize Will Look Like

The newest addition to Belize’s fast-growing hotel pipeline is on track for 2020, and now we’ve gotten the exclusive first...
Read More
June 26, 2018

Saving the underwater wonder world of Belize’s reef

Just a stone’s throw off the coast of Belize, brightly colored tropical fish mingle with sharks, manta rays and sea...
Read More
June 26, 2018

RCL Exclusive Your Off-the-Grid Guide to Belize

Belize is the tropical vacation version of a perfect meal. Light appetizer, indulgent main course, decadent dessert and booze …...
Read More
June 17, 2018

Latham: Hard work must be the national symbol of Belize

BELIZE CITY, Belize — Belize is tiny for a country — about the land size of Maryland — but it...
Read More
June 17, 2018

7 Ambergris Caye Restaurants Secret Special Request Options

Once you have lived on Ambergris Caye awhile, you get to know which restaurants have off-menu special request options. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Please Belize Me: Ten Reasons to Put Ambergris Caye on Travel List

After a year of procrastination and poor planning, Belize finally made it on my to do list in 2018. Read...
Read More
June 12, 2018

Autograph Collection Hotels Set to Debut in Belize with the Opening of Alaia

Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the...
Read More
June 12, 2018

5 Reasons to Vacation in Belize this Summer

Summer is the busiest season for travel to Europe. That’s where most vacationers are headed during the months of June,...
Read More
1 2 3 19

Comments

comments

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Login

Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Don't have account. Register

Lost Password

Register

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Banner-1