ACCSD seeks new plan of action against development at Cayo Rosario
Friday, June 21st, 2019
The fight against the massive development at Cayo Rosario continues. Most recently, on May 30, 2019, the Supreme Court of Belize refused leave for Judicial Review in the case brought forward by the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) against the Department of Environment (DOE) regarding the approved development at Cayo Rosario. However, this is not deterring the ACCSD. Former manager for Hol Chan Marine Reserve and director on the board of ACCSD, Miguel Alamilla has confirmed that they are discussing with their lawyers a new approach to stop the development.
“We have been talking to our attorneys and our board, looking at what possible future action we could take. One of those would be working with the community [like] we have been doing all along. The bottom-line is that we feel that this development project is not right for the community. Building over-the-water structures in a marine reserve, and even more, in a conservation area within one of the most important marine reserves in Belize, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, is not what we want and that’s why we are adamant and insistent and I think we are right to be doing that in defending those issues,” explained Alamilla in an interview with the media.
The most concerning factor of the development for ACCSD is the 54 over-the-water structures over the protected fishing flats. Alamilla stated that while DOE has greenlighted the Environmental Impact Assessment for the construction, it will be up to the Belize Fisheries Department Administrator to approve the over-the-water structures. “They still have to apply for several other permits: building permits, dredging, whatever other permits they need for the development. Now the over-the-water structure is happening inside a protected area, and this protected area has legislation attached to it. The bottom-line is that the management of the marine reserve, they have a board—it is also under the Fisheries Act, so the Fisheries Department has oversight of that marine reserve—they have the last say. They say yes or no. As the legislation is written, the fisheries administrator has the authority to authorize or not authorize any development within that protected area.”
ACCSD is committed to safeguarding the marine environment and will be providing updates on their fight against Cayo Rosario as it’s available. For more information, please visit www.accsdbz.org and www.defendcayorosario.com.
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