GOB Continue Talks On NCL Proposal

Last week, 7News showed you the position from Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Cabinet Committee Chair Minister Godwin Hulse on the continued discussion to possibly develop cruise tourism in Southern Belize.

Norwegian Cruise Line has tabled a proposal before Government in which they want to build a cruise port on Crawl Caye to access Placencia. As has widely been reported, local private cruise interests, the BTIA, and organizations within the environmental community in Belize are staunchly against it, and they’ve gone as far as to condemn it.

GOB says that given that this investment could be no less than 100 million dollars, they have an obligation at least discuss this with NCL.

Today, the Cabinet Committee tasked to hear the proposal met at the BTB office in Belize to discuss its environmental aspects. 7News waited outside the office to speak with them, and when they came out, they chose not to disclose much until the Cabinet is aware of their findings.

Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News
"We've been hearing that Crawl Caye is a bust. What's the story Norwegian Cruise after this meeting today?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse – Minister of Labour
"Mr. Sanchez it's a good question but the truth of the matter is that we have to take a gull report of cabinet colleagues tomorrow before we can make a statement to the public. It would be absolutely unfair for Cabinet to hear it on the radio tonight and it's a lengthy disussion, it's not a one word answer at all."

Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News
"While you can't report on it. The fact that the world heritage site - and crawl caye is in it, would that have made part of whatever decision was made today?"

Hon. Godwin Hulse
"Any decision that is made within this country - as I have said over and over, from the Cabinet's position encompasses five clear parameters. One that it is socially economically acceptable and legally doable. That it brings revenue to government, brings meaningful jobs to the country, that it doesn't destroy the environment but in fact enhances it - if those criteria are met then we are good to go and that is what Cabinet will discuss tomorrow. "

Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News
"As someone that deals with the environment; did you have environmental concerns that it is in the World Heritage Site?"

Hon. Lisel Alamilla – Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development
"Of course, environment has to be an important of the discussion, I think Minister Hulse told you that tomorrow we will discuss this at Cabinet and based on that we will make a public statement. I have nothing else to say, thank you."

Reliable sources informed us that officials from the Forestry Department, the Fisheries Department, and the Department of Environment all made presentations at today’s meeting, and they’ve made a strong case to committee about the possible environmental impact.

Channel 7