Environmental Clearance Granted for Eco-Resort on Angelfish Caye Despite Concerns
The Department of the Environment (DOE) has granted environmental clearance for the construction of an eco-resort and private residential development on Angelfish Caye. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) reviewed the proposed project submitted by Angelfish Caye LLC and approved its Environmental Impact Assessment with strict conditions to mitigate all possible adverse environmental impacts. The NEAC then provided a recommendation to the DOE for the project approval in the sensitive marine environment in the area, despite concerns raised by the environmental community. Today, we asked the Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management Orlando Habet to weigh in on the decision and the concerns that were raised.
Orlando Habet, Minister of Disaster Risk Management: “The EIA is actually sent as submission to the Department of Environment, the Department of Environment will review the EIA and then they will submit a summary report of their findings to the NEAC and then NEAC will sit if it’s one, two or three meetings to make a final decision on whether or not they give an ECP which is an Environment Compliance Plan and a compliance plan for them to be able to start their operations. In all projects especially large projects there will be some type of environmental damage or there are concerns for environmental damage and so what the report has to do is to look at the EIA comprehensively and look at where these can be mitigated. If they can then they will ask that some of these submissions within the EIA are corrected and then that is considered. Looking at the financial aspect, the economic aspect, the environmental aspect and the social aspect of that project and after that then it is submitted to the NEAC and the NEAC might also be able to send back to the Department of Environment saying listen these things are okay but one or two things need to be fixed and if the company is willing to resubmit or to fix those then the NEAC recommends to the DOE their position and the DOE can either accept the recommendation or reject that recommendation.”
The DOE approved the project on November 15.