Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#382673 - 07/20/09 02:20 PM Secret Environmental Committee
Short Offline

Dated 17th June – for immediate release

Belize’s Secret Environmental Committee

A shock announcement by Mr. Anthony Mai of the Department of the Environment that the names of members of the National Environment Advisory Committee (NEAC) are secret has left concerned citizens in Seine Bight, Maya Beach and Placencia reeling.

NEAC is the committee legally charged with giving clearance for all development projects requiring environmental review, such as shrimp farms, resorts, World Heritage site projects, dams, free zones and many other major undertakings that closely affect the lives of Belizeans.

Mr. Mai made the announcement last week at a public meeting held by DOE to discuss a proposal for approval to build a second huge marina on the Peninsula.

Says Co-Chair of the Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development, Vincent Lopez, “We were horrified when we learnt that the names of NEAC members are secret. People at the public meeting last week repeatedly asked for the identities of the committee members, but were told by Mr. Mai that NEAC members did not wish their names to be known.”

“We, on the other hand, were required to give our names before speaking at the meeting, and we were also videoed. This was an open public meeting that anyone could attend. We are not afraid or ashamed of our identities, but this insistence on recording a public meeting certainly smacks of the police state. We were not told in advance that the meeting would be recorded or why, and some people at the meeting felt it was intended to intimidate them.”

Continues Mr. Lopez, “We are outraged at this situation. These people on NEAC are making decisions that affect the lives and livelihoods of all the people of Belize, and we aren’t even allowed to know who they are. What possible reason could there be for this kind of secrecy by a PUBLIC committee?”

“Our current government promised us that government activities would be transparent. I can’t think of any issue closer to the Belizean heart and soul than the very fate of this land – and it’s being decided by a bunch of faceless mystery men. I am sure that Prime Minister Barrow will want to give this his immediate attention, and allow fresh air to blow through the workings of this critically important environmental committee, which has so much power over all of our lives.”

Recent projects that have raised questions in the minds of many Belizeans on the Placencia Peninsula include the ongoing construction of an international airport on the Peninsula, mangrove clearance at World Heritage sites, permission for an airstrip at Harvest Caye which will destroy an important manatee feeding site, large scale dredging in the Placencia Lagoon, the approval of a large resort on False Caye (an important mangrove, juvenile fish and coral area off the Peninsula) and numerous other deeply worrying decisions.

Concludes Mr. Lopez, “I believe that we as Belizeans have an absolute right to know who the people are who are making these staggeringly important decisions which will impact our country for generations to come. What can possibly be the motive for keeping these names secret? Our organisation and others will be pressing the government for a statement and an immediate change of policy in this matter.”


For further information, contact Mary Toy, Co-Chair, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development, 610-4718
Live and let live

#382674 - 07/20/09 03:15 PM Re: Secret Environmental Committee [Re: Short]
papashine Offline
Surprise, surprise..... sick
Reality..What a concept!

#382675 - 07/23/09 12:50 AM Re: Secret Environmental Committee [Re: papashine]
Short Offline
Who sits on NEAC?

Development projects that have any impact on the environment attract their own share of controversy. And this time the complaints are coming from the Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development. And as much as it has to do with the Placencia Marina Ltd that can accommodate as much as two hundred boats , the group is railing with the Department of the Environment, which it claims does not want to disclose the names of the new members of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee. According to Mary Toy, Co Chair of the Placencia group, the D.O.E. is keeping the Committee in secret.

Mary Toy, Co-Chair, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Dev

“Our issue is with the Department of Environment because at a meeting we were at last week on Thursday to discuss a proposal of a two hundred and ten slip marina on the northern Peninsula, D.O.E. was going through the E.I.A. process and they pulled out the slide of the members of the NEAC Committee which was a listing of the names of the position of who was supposed to be on NEAC or that person’s representative. So we asked for the actual names of the people that were on the committee and Mister Mai from D.O.E., told us that D.O.E. would not release the names because NEAC committee members did not want their names publicly known. At the same meeting the audience was being videotaped plus if you make a comment you have to give them your name first and who you represented. So NEAC, which is a public committee that is in charge of approving or denying any project that comes before D.O.E. that requires environmental approval, doesn’t want us to know who they are.”

“The two hundred and ten slip Marina that will hold boats of up to two hundred feet has been proposed by Placencia Marina Ltd. who the principals are, we believe, the same as those that own the Placencia Hotel and Resort, Copal Beach and Rondeveau Caye. This project is in about a mile and a half distance of the Aero Macal Marina which has been approved for four hundred boats of up to hundred feet in length. If NEAC approve the new marina, that will mean there will be boat slips for six hundred and ten boats on the Northern end of the Placencia Peninsula. That’s a lot of slips and we do not think that the Peninsula and the sites along the peninsula like Laughing Bird Caye, Gladden Spit, the Silk Cayes, can sustainably accommodate six hundred and ten boats with an average of, lets be very conservative three people per boat.”

When we checked on the composition of the Commission, we found nothing sinister. According to the 2007 amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment, the NEAC is headed by C.E.O.s of government departments or their nominees. The Committee includes the Chief Environmental Officer, the Lands Commissioner, the Director of Health Services; the Chief Forest Officer; the Fisheries Administrator; the chief meteorologist; the director of petroleum and geology and GOB’s chief engineer. Also serving on the committee are three experts nominated by the D.O.E., a representative from a tertiary level institution in Belize; two N.G.O.s or representatives from the private sector and one person named by the Minister.

Live and let live


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

Things to do

Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker

TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

San Pedro Scoop!
Tia Chocolate
My Beautiful Belize
I-Travel Belize
Belize Adventure
Belize Hub
Romantic Travel
Bound for Belize
Conch Creative
As The Coconuts Drop
More Blogs...
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites
Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
Mini Chat

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31
Who's Online
0 registered (), 23 Guests and 8 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,632 Registered Members
44 Forums
63,697 Topics
461,210 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 02:16 PM

AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.