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Friends for Conservation and Development blame mining company for disturbing ‘delicate and sensitive environment’ of Chiquibul National Park

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Posted: Tuesday, August 24, 2021. 9:07 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), are calling on Government to halt the operations of the Boiton Mining Company in the Park, which it complains “are highly disturbing due to the impacts these have on a delicate and sensitive environment.”

FCD along with the Forest Department, National Biodiversity Unit, Mining Unit, and Department of the Environment in June assessed the company’s work in the south section of the Park and found “several infractions and noncompliance with regulations.”

The company opened a road that will wash off with the rainy season, clogging fresh water creeks with sediment and unwittingly giving further access to illegal Guatemalan gold panners.

Two months after the assessment, the Ceibo Chico Creek used by the Joint Forces Unit at the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post comprised of Belize Defence Force (BDF) soldiers and FCD Rangers has also been altered.

The area has been designated a national park since 1995, with the intent of securing fresh water supply, but now it is under direct threat from the opened road and the damage already caused is, says FCD, “irreversible.”

The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management will be meeting with agents of Boiton Minerals and FCD hopes it comes down hard on the company and conduct a full assessment to secure accountability. It promises that in conjunction with other local partners it will continue working to safeguard the health of the headwaters for all those thousands of Belizeans who depend on it.

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