Is the Proposed Cayo Rosario Development Massive?
In another tourism development, two months ago we reported on the proposed development at Cayo Rosario in San Pedro. Tourism stakeholders, fishermen and residents are opposed to the development of the small caye because it falls within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The National Appraisal Environment Committee has gone ahead and approved the plan despite widespread outcry from the San Pedranos. The first plan proposed some ninety over-water structures and several other buildings, but the developers were told to scale down. Small changes were made and over water structures were cut down to fifty-four. But there will also be fifty more structures on the island, as well as a club, spa, restaurant and two docks, among other construction. Now, according to the redesigned plan, there will be beach reclamation and dredging, which stakeholders are objecting to because it is within a protected area. Mike Huesner, the B.T.I.A rep on NEAC, confirmed the project was approved, but he also strongly objected to the development within a reserve. On Monday reporters caught up with Minister of Environment Omar Figueroa and he was asked about the proposed development. The minister says the project is by no means a massive construction. Here’s how he puts it.
Omar Figueroa, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment
“There was a proposal to develop Cayo Rosario. The initial proposal called for quite a few over the water structures. I believe NEAC met a few weeks ago and the level of development was scaled down completely, scaled down significantly. And so it might be important, you know, you see you question about massive development is already misleading in so many ways. It is important to get the facts when we talk about massive. There is a proposal there to develop. It does involve over the water structures, whether it is massive or not, you will really need to look at all the details. I know for a fact it was scaled down significantly from the original proposal and a series of measures were put in place to protect the environment out there.”
Figueroa told the media that he couldn’t comment on the proposed dredging because his Ministry is not responsible for that kind of work.