Caye Chapel beach creation project starts without EIA
Recent reports of a beach project on Caye Chapel has raised concerns among government officials and the tourism sector, as it has started without the benefit of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Caye Chapel is an exclusive property being touted as on its way to becoming a world-class golf course. It has been revealed that developers are planning to create a beach area measuring 985 feet long by 98 feet wide, along with a beach club and a sales center. Stakeholders’ main concern is that the project was given clearance by the Department of Environment (DOE), ignoring the Supreme Court’s guidelines when handling these types of projects.
On Wednesday, February 8th The San Pedro Sun headed to the island, after receiving reports of dredging activities. No dredging was observed around the island; however, works for the expansion of the beach were in full gear. Heavy machinery was observed near the proposed section of the island that will see the creation of a new beach.
Attempts to reach Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria have been fruitless. However, on Wednesday, February 8th, the media caught up with Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in Environment who explained a bit of what is happening at Caye Chapel. “The entire project still requires an EIA to be completed,” said Figueroa. “What is happening is that this is a major investment and the investors want to do a pilot project within the investment.” In his brief explanation, Figueroa indicated that the EIA will apply to the larger project which he expects to be ready in the next six to eight months.
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