Last month, a stakeholder consultation was held in San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. The consultation was in reference to Blackadore Caye: A Restorative Island- a project proposed by mega star, actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The Environment Impact Assessment has been concluded for the project and according to the report during the construction phase, there will be increased employment. It is expected the indirect economic impact will also see a domino effect with increases in sale of services and products in the area of influence. It is also described as a unique project; one that has the support of the Government of Belize says Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia Jr.
MANUEL HEREDIA JR
“Blackadore Caye, I believe that there will be a second consultation. My government and I fully support the project I believe that it’s one of a kind but because there were at least three or four persons that were vocal about it particularly the over the water structure then I think that they are very genuine investor because they are willing to go back to a second consultation in San Pedro in making that they satisfy almost every single one that has something for or against it.”
“But satisfying everyone may be impossible because you would always have someone who is against the project.”
MANUEL HEREDIA JR
“I agree that you cannot always satisfy everyone. Consultation doesn’t mean to say that you have to do everything that people say but at least some people because they wanted to go back to the public to say that they didn’t understand something. Personally, just as the Mayor, the Chairman of the Building Authority in San Pedro, we have seen that our vetting subcommittee of government have gone over it and we believe that it’s a one of kind project and can be a model for the region and the whole world. We totally support it, I think after the consultation I made my comments to the press and I made it very clear that my interest is to look after the interest of the tour guides, tour operators, the students and everybody. This is one project that I have seen that they are talking about restoration not only building but restoring. It’s millions of dollars that would be invested over there. When it comes to students they are graduating and there are very few places that they can go. I believe that when you have this type of project it opens the doors for our young people to be able to access a good opportunity.”
The second consultation is scheduled to occur in the next few days. Blackadore is about 104 acres and situated between the mainland and Ambergris Caye.