Just in case you missed it earlier, here's the link to Sunup on 7's segment with Janelle Chanona- Senator & Oceana Belize Vice President and Valdemar Andrade - Executive Director of TASA, discussing the recent letter to the Briceno Administration on EIA's, Waterloo and Vulcan!

Starts at 55:26


Valdemar Andrade- Executive Director, TASA & Janelle Chanona- Senator, Oceana Belize Vice President discussing on the recent letter to the Briceno Admin on EIA's, Waterloo and Vulcan from conservation groups "formally request(s) that the Government�pause all Environmental Impact Assessments currently in process, including hosting of public consultations, until the associated and relevant environmental regulations and laws are appropriately amended and fully realized."


Here's the letter:

Prime Minister John Briceno
3rd Floor, Sir Edney Cain Building
City of Belmopan


Dear Prime Minister Briceno,

We, the undersigned, formally request that the Government of Belize pause all Environmental .pact Assessments currently in process, including hosting of public consultations, until the associated and relevant environmental regulations and lacts are appropriately amended and fully realized. We make this request within the context of the commitments made by the Government of Belize and its agencies under the Blue Bond agreement.

Additionally, non-governmental organizations and civil society are extremely concerned by public statements made by potential investors that appear to assert that once an Environmental Impact Assessment is allowed, environmental clearance must follow. Current laws are also being interpreted to infer that if the developers can afford to resubmit rejected EIAs, there are no guidelines or limits for repackaging and resubmitting rejected projects. By this logic, everyone allowed to prepare an EIA can sue the Belizean Government and people if their proposal is rejected and can continue submitting "revised" rejected ElAs indefinitely. We wholeheartedly reject any notion that the national development agenda will be set in this manner.

We also highlight that several relevant and critical documents, including but not limited to, the National Port Policy, the Marine Spatial Plan, the Blue Economy Development Policy, Strategy and Implementation Plan and the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, remain in process. Supporting sustainable, overnight tourism, as recommended in the Master Plan, is sound economic policy and it is important to understand the clear economic distinctions between cruise and overnight tourism. In 2019, Belize welcomed 503,166 overnight visitors and 1,170,558 cruise visitors generating in excess of $1.09 Billion in tourism-related expenditures. Total visitor numbers are, however, misleading as 90.4% of these expenditures were generated by overnight tourism with approximately 9% from cruise tourism.

It is our considered view that to proceed with Environmental Impact Assessments before such plans are finalized and legislated conflicts with preparing an informed and holistic national development agenda. You will recall that our joint letter to you in November 2020 (attached) raised similar concerns and recommendations.

Finally, on the Cruise Tourism Facility and Port Expansion proposal from Waterloo Holdings, we maintain that the science we have collectively shared in opposition to this project remains unchanged, especially but not only regarding dredge spoils; despite the resubmission of a revised EIA.
Given these multiple grave concerns, we write to you with the urgency these issues merit. We look forward to receiving your response to our recommendations to update the relevant environment regulations to meet Blue Bond commitments and safeguard our natural resources.

Thank you.

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