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Irregularities in building permit are discovered

Development activities at Cayo Rosario, a small island within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Zone IV on the northwest coast of Ambergris Caye once again has islanders concerned. A live feed on social media on Wednesday, March 4th showed what appeared to be a barge transporting heavy machinery to the small island. A large pile of rock material could also be observed on the barge, which is allegedly being used for construction. Information provided to The San Pedro Sun is that the developer has a permit to build a temporary bulkhead, and that material for its development is being barged, rather than extracted from the seabed. However, as of Thursday, March 5th, activities on the island have paused, as personnel from the Physical Planning within the Ministry of Natural Resources will visit the island on Friday, March 6th, to address a reported breach in the compliance of the permit issued.

According to Hol Chan Executive Director Javier Paredes, they had the opportunity to view the permit, which states that the construction materials were to be placed north-side of an existing pier, and upon making checks, it was discovered that it is being placed further south of the designated area. This wrong placement resulted in a temporary pause of any further construction activity until personnel from the Ministry of Natural Resources visit the area and assess the situation. “We want everyone to know that we are aware of and are monitoring the issue very closely. We have increased patrols, and we are sensitive in terms of what is happening at Cayo Rosario,” said Paredes. He added that their technical team was the first to detect activities when surveyors and survey sticks were observed in front of the island, and they began engaging stakeholders on how best to approach this concern.

Late on Thursday afternoon, a group of stakeholders took boats to Cayo Rosario, where they held a peaceful demonstration. They hope that their movement sensitizes the local authorities on this issue and pushes them to inflect the least impact possible on this critical and sensitive eco-system.

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Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun
Top photo By Rebecca Coutant