NGO Fragments of Hope Opposes Environmental Impact Assessment for Angelfish Caye Resort
Southern NGO, Fragments of Hope, is opposing the Department of the Environment’s decision to proceed with environmental impact assessment for the construction of a Small Resort Facility on Angelfish Caye, Stann Creek District. On Monday, the organization wrote to the CEO of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, Dr. Kenrick Williams objecting to the approval of the Environment Impact Assessment for Angelfish Caye, LLC in South Water Caye Marine Reserve. The Executive Director wrote to Williams for a second time raising several environmental concerns about the location where the NGO monitors coral. The letter goes on to state that, quote, “proceeding with possible approvals for new development projects within the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System-World Heritage Site (BBRS-WHS) may compromise the commitments made by the Government of Belize and its Agencies in the ‘Conservation funding agreement under the Blue Bond’.” End of quote. Additionally, the letter states that it is very concerned over the land documents presented in which it is unclear exactly how these transactions were made in just two days in September 2020, from lands to two Belizeans, to Angelfish Caye, LLC. The NGO has also registered concerns that the now deceased, Ricardo Borja’s name is on every document. The NGO informs the CEO that Borja has publicly released statements about fraudulent land transfers and says that Borja’s name is on the Belize Companies Registry documents. The Executive Director also says that she was able to find “Angelfish Caye LLC” on the Texas (USA) site but could not find any listing on the IRS (USA) website, nor by the name, “Angelfish Caye LLC”. In conclusion, the NGO says that the multitude of issues highlighted, it urges the legal option of “No- Action” to be applied and that this second EIA also be rejected. Our newsroom reached out to the ministry, and we were told that the Department of the Environment has no authority over the land documents, and that the land transactions in question, were done prior to the Briceno administration taking office. We further understand that resort’s EIA had not been rejected, but they were merely asked to resubmit due to a lacking in their first submission. Our newsroom also reached out to Williams but our request for comment and interview went unanswered. We’ll keep following this story.