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NGO Belize Marine Life condemns GOB rescheduling of public consultations for Waterloo port expansion project

Posted: Friday, November 11, 2022. 7:20 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The NGO Belize Marine Life has publicly condemned a decision by the Government of Belize to reschedule the public consultation for the Port of Belize Cruise Tourism and Cargo Expansion EIA Report.

The Department of the Environment had issued a notice saying that, due to the impact of Hurricane Lisa, the consultation would be rescheduled for today, Friday, November 11, 2022, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza at 6:30 p.m.

Belize Marine Life took to Facebook to voice its concern that the government (GOB) has repeatedly tried to push through with the project despite concerns raised by the public. The NGO also alleges that GOB’s determination to move the project forward is due to its connections to British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft.

“Only one day after hurricane Lisa and GOB sets out to appease Ashcroft,” Belize Marine Life said. “This is the fourth public consultation for the same project that has been rejected repeatedly.”

The NGO notes that the first attempt at holding the consultation was on July 22, 2020, but this was rescheduled and held as a Zoom conference on November 26, 2020, due to strong public opposition. The NGO notes that during the Zoom meeting there were over 2000 comments shared in opposition to the project.

The second consultation was held on September 23, 2021, also via Zoom, and Belize Marine Life said that the outcome mirrored the first consultation, a unified public stance opposing the project.

“This led to NEAC voting against the project on December 13th, 2021. A third consultation was then held on September 1st, 2022 with strong opposition against the project, And now a fourth one is to be held November 11th, 2022,” Belize Marine Life added.

The consultation can be viewed on the DOE’s Facebook page.

 

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