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Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532279
09/13/18 07:17 AM
09/13/18 07:17 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 37
Texas/USA
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Silverado1 Offline
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Silverado1  Offline
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Follow the money

Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532286
09/13/18 08:06 PM
09/13/18 08:06 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 6,018
San Pedro AC Belize
Diane Campbell Offline
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Diane Campbell  Offline
What is so fracking stupid is that this boneheaded plan isn't financially sound in the long term. It's carpet-bagger money at best. If these folks would change the gears in their heads they could come up with nicer ways to get rich.

Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532354
09/18/18 01:28 PM
09/18/18 01:28 PM
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Press Release - ACCSD - One month ago, the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) officially sent letters to Martin Alegria, the Chief Environmental Officer and the Chairman of the National Appraisal Environment Committee (NEAC), requesting a meeting and public information related to the deliberation process in approving the Cayo Rosario development.

Both requests were denied.

Additionally, The Department of Environment, our Ambergris Caye officials (including Minister Manuel Heredia who was copied on the letters) and the Government of Belize have failed to take any remedial action or propose any solutions.

We are sharing these attached letters to keep the public appraised of our continued actions to Defend Cayo Rosario and the Hol Chan Marine reserve.

As a result of the failure of the DOE to respond, we will institute legal action.

Our stance remains: Hol Chan Marine Reserve is for all Belize. We say No to dredging and over-the-water- structures in our marine reserve.


Mega project Cayo Rosario downsized

The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development will be seeking legal action in order to protect the Hol Chan Marine Reserve from damage that may come about as a result of the Cayo Rosario development project. The group stated that about a month ago they sent a letter requesting a meeting with Martin Alegria, the Chief Environmental Officer and the Chairman of the National Appraisal Environment Committee (NEAC) concerning the project. However, their request felt on deaf ears. The Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development, and Climate Change, Dr. Percival Cho, told Love News that the project has been downsized.

Dr Percival Cho CEO Ministry of Environment: “Myself and the Minister we got a hands on feel of the situation there and we are looking at it very closely. I can’t make announcements yet but we are looking at the situation very closely with respect to taking into effect some of the concerns that the fishermen have put forward.”

Hipolito Novelo: “The project has been downsized tremendously?”

Dr Percival Cho CEO Ministry of Environment: Yes by the NIAC it was downsized.”

LOVEFM


Environment C.E.O. Says Recent Visit Was Made to Cayo Rosario

According to the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development, the Department of Environment has failed to do its proper research, having only consulted once with the residents and stakeholders.  The National Environmental Appraisal Committee gave the green light to a project that will see forty-plus overwater structures built on the island.  Today, C.E.O. in the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development, Doctor Percival Cho, told News Five that he and the Minister recently visited Cayo Rosario; this is something Billy Leslie and the folks over at ACCSD find hard to believe.

Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, and Sustainable Development

“We did a site visit some weeks ago Hipolito, myself and the Minister. We got a hands-on feel of the exact situation there. We are looking at it very closely. I cannot make any announcements yet, but we are looking at the situation very closely with respect to taking into account some of the concerns that fishermen have put forward.”

Hipolito Novelo

“The project has been downsized tremendously.”

Dr. Percival Cho

“Yes, by the NEAC, it was downsized.”

On the Phone: Billy Leslie, Former Co-Chair, ACCSD

“If the department of the environment would have only come to look at these islands, they would have noted the pristine life; the delicateness of that area and how the place is full of fish, especially in a time like now when the Sargasso is really damaging the eastern side of our country. We should look at these developments and not allow major developments. And they are not even talking about their land; they are talking about placing things over what is not even theirs. They are putting forty-five structures on top of our delicate bajos; that’s not theirs. This specific island, if you take your sixty-six feet of crown land and you go around that island, you are left with a lagoon in the middle. The Department of Environment needs to do their job right.”


Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development to Sue G.O.B. for Cayo Rosario Project

The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development is heading to court in respect of the proposed mega-tourism development on Cayo Rosario.  The group says that the Government of Belize, particularly the Department of Environment, has left them no choice, but to take legal action for the proposed development in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve which they say contravenes the provisions in the Environmental Act as well as other regulations. According to the group, consisting of fishermen and environmentalists as well as San Pedranos, D.O.E. has failed to respond to any of their requests for remedial action or to propose any solutions before the approval of the unsustainable tourism project. In recent correspondence, the group sought to meet with the authorities, but got no response.  Today, former Co-Chair and active member of ACCSD, Billy Leslie, told News Five that their attorney at Flores and Company Law Firm has been instructed to proceed with legal action against the government.

On the Phone: Billy Leslie, Former Co-Chair, ACCSD

“Majority of the San Pedro people are a little bit upset because the Department of the Environment is not seeing how sensitive these small islands are. In the past we have lobbied and fought for very hard to protect three species of fish: the bonefish, the tarpon and the permit. These fish have more economic value to be left alone and allowed to be caught and released by fly-fishing customers which is brining tremendous amount of money into this country. In 2015, after long, long lobbying with the help of the area representative, Minister of Tourism and our mayor along with the San Pedro tour Guide Association, the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development and countless numbers of other people, we managed to extend the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to include many bajos or shallow flats which are the habits to those specific three fish. Recently, the pressure of development—and not only development because we are not against development, we are against unsustainable development. By going to these islands back there, you will note that it is not land, they are mangrove marshes; they are not land and development is starting to happen on the habitat of those fish that are bringing countless number of dollars to this country.”

Channel 5


Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532389
09/20/18 04:50 AM
09/20/18 04:50 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Briceno: Cayo Rosario Project should be abandoned

In yesterday’s newscast, we reported that the Cayo Rosario project has been downsized. We also informed you that the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development will be seeking legal action in order to protect the Hol Chan Marine Reserve from damage that may come about as a result of the Cayo Rosario development project. Today, Love news asked the Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno if he thinks the project should be abandoned.

John Briceno, Opposition Leader: “Because it is in that area yes I can remember at one time when I was the Minister there were some people that were interested in that very same island and it was the very same present representative who brought it to my attention and I said ‘you know this is in the reserve and that we should protect it.’ I think there are a lot of birds that go on that island. It’s quite ironic that under the present area representative, under his government now that that has been issued out and they want to develop it. I think we need to take it back and we need to preserve it and keep it in that reserve for generations to come so all of us can enjoy that.”

Dr. Percival Cho, the Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of the Environment told the media that the project is being reviewed to address the concerns that have been brought to light.

LOVEFM


Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532401
09/20/18 11:30 AM
09/20/18 11:30 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,053
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Downsizing From “Absurd” to “Ridiculous” Does Not Make the Approved Development at Cayo Rosario Reasonable or Appropriate

Press Release- Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development – September 20, 2018 - The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) would like to counter the defense given by the Government of Belize (GOB) officials (see attached) when asked about the appropriateness of the approved Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the development at Cayo Rosario in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

September 18th, Dr. Percival Cho, C.E.O., Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, and Sustainable Development told Channel 5 News and LoveFM that “the development was downsized.”

Minister Omar Figueroa, on July 17th, told Channel 5 news “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.”

Whereas adjusting a plan for 90+ over-the-water structures in a marine reserve to more than 40 is technically “downsizing,” we counter that this project should never have been presented for public consultation in the first place. “Downsized” does NOT equate to “appropriate” - especially within Belize’s protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Additionally, this downsizing was then approved by the National Appraisal Environment Committee (NEAC) with no public consultation. We argue that approving this egregious development within a marine reserve equates to de-reserving the area - the conservation objectives are no longer being met.

This recent approval does not highlight fair concessions that the developer made, rather, it sharply underlines the flaws in the EIA process.

Projects such as this one proposed for Cayo Rosario, the EIA for 10 hotel/casinos, an 18-hole golf course and a “free zone” on North Ambergris Caye (2016) and the Puerto Azul project at Lighthouse Atoll should be properly vetted for legality as well as basic reasonability before being presented to the public or touted by our government.

Tourism is the lifeblood of Ambergris Caye and so many who live in our country. Each and every time the Government of Belize champions both unsuitable developments and outlandish proposals, it is a distraction, and disrespectful to ALL Belizeans working arduously to make tourism in Belize unique, sustainable and exceptional.

Below is the downsized plan from EIA Addendum II that was approved by the NEAC board (without additional public consultation) as well as an aerial photo taken of Cayo Rosario. Please note that this caye is a 6-acre island within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.




Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532624
10/05/18 03:09 PM
10/05/18 03:09 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,053
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Members of the board of the Ambergris Caye Citizen for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) held a very successful meeting with San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero on Thursday, September 26th to discuss the controversial Cayo Rosario Development.

The ACCSD consists of concerned citizens, industry stakeholders, and business owners as well as leaders from the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, San Pedro Tour Operator Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association.

Cayo Rosario is a small island just off the west coast of Ambergris Caye - visible from the Secret Beach area. The caye is just over six acres and sits within Belize’s most popular protected area, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A thick ring of mangroves surrounding a small inner lagoon, the island has been well known as a “Bird Island” - famous for the nesting ibis and roseate spoonbills. Some of the finest fly-fishing flats in Belize surround the small island. These very flats support a significant industry that can continue to generate substantial direct and indirect economic contributions for future generations of Belizeans.

The Cayo Rosario development, as approved by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, calls for 54 over-the-water structures, 50 more partially over-water and on-land structures, and the dredging of 55,000 cubic meters of sand from the marine reserve for land creation.

Mayor Guerrero stated, "I am totally against the Cayo Rosario development and anything that negatively affects the environment on the bay, the inner lagoons and the beachfront."

In fact, Mayor Guerrero and Belize Rural South Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Manuel Heredia, were a part of the initial team that spearheaded the expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to protect this very area. This approved development at Cayo Rosario contradicts the very reason so many worked hard to expand the marine reserve.

Both the Mayor and the ACCSD agree - the island itself is private, and the developer has the right to build on their island - but the surrounding waters and seabed are part of the protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council stand with the ACCSD recognizing that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of this island’s most important environmental and economic assets.

To find out more about what the ACCSD does and about the Defend Cayo Rosario initiative and how you can help, please see our website ACCSDbz.org and DefendCayoRosario.com

Press Release- Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development – October 5, 2018


Our new t-shirts are now available for $20bzd at the Belize Chocolate Company, El Pescador Lodge & Villas and at the office of Seaduced by Belize in San Pedro. Proceeds go to #DefendCayoRosario

For additional information, please see our Facebook page for updates:

https://www.facebook.com/ACCSDBz/



Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532724
10/11/18 01:07 PM
10/11/18 01:07 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Online happy OP

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Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) is speaking out against the Cayo Rosario Project. Their representatives outlined their position on why the project is unsustainable. On our couch:
Billie Leslie - Past Chair, ACCSD
Elito Arceo - Past Chair, ACCSD
Miguel Alamilla - Past Chair, ACCSD


Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #532861
10/21/18 06:11 AM
10/21/18 06:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,053
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Marty Online happy OP

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NO permits have been granted for dredging of the seabed around Cayo Rosario

How many over-the-water structures can you count. IN OUR HOL CHAN MARINE RESERVE? We see more than 54. FIFTY FOUR!

We have asked the Belize Forest Department (Mangroves), Natural Resources (Dredging) and The Fisheries Dept (ANY activity in a marine reserve) to clarify their positions on the Cayo Rosario plan and to say NO to any and all permissions regarding this project.

Yesterday, we heard from Michelle Alvarez - the Director of the Ministry of Natural Resources. NO permits have been granted for dredging of the seabed around Cayo Rosario - just across from Secret Beach.

PLEASE REPORT ANY SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY that you see around the island to us and/or the Hol Chan Marine Reserve offices.

Re: Help Save Cayo Rosario [Re: Marty] #533559
12/02/18 05:51 AM
12/02/18 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 60,053
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Marty Online happy OP

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ACCSD lobbies stakeholders for support against Cayo Rosario Development

The Board of Directors for the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) held an informative luncheon on Tuesday, November 27th for key tourism and business stakeholders on the island. Hosted by Matachica Resort, more than a dozen individuals were updated on the progress ACCSD is making in preventing the controversial development of Cayo Rosario located within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

First to speak was ACCSD Board member and President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association Billy Leslie, who reviewed the history of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the part ACCSD played in expanding the reserve in 2015. “We saw that this area on the leeward side of the island, the shoals, the mangrove islands, and bajos were essential to the health of the Hol Chan ecosystem and an important area for the fly-fishing industry. We worked closely with other agencies on the island along with local and national government to make it happen. Our goal was to prevent unsustainable developments like the one approved for Cayo Rosario from ever happening. This sensitive area cannot support the proposed over-the-water structures, dredging, mangrove removal, and sewage system without irreparable damage,” he stated.

Board member and marine biologist Miguel Alamilla was next to elaborate on the flaws in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) that was contracted by the developer and problems within the entire National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) approval process. “Developers hire their own accessor to conduct their EIA, so naturally they will error on the side of the developer. In the case of Cayo Rosario, improper methodology was used along with inaccurate observations such as no sign of fish or wildlife in the area. In approving the EIA, NEAC failed to consider several laws and regulations, such as the fact that the developer only held one of the two public hearings required, and the illegal use/development of ‘Queens Land’ to name a few,” explained Alamilla.

Elito Arceo, Board member and co-founder of ACCSD emphasized the impact the approval of such a development can have. He commented, “Is this the message we want to send, that it is ok to irresponsibly develop within a marine reserve? If we allow for this development to proceed what is next? There are other little mangrove islands throughout the reserve, if this happens will they all be exploited to this extent?”

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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