UDP Appeals to National Conservancy in Portico Agreement Dispute
Another letter has been sent off overseas from the opposition, this time to the National Conservancy (TNC). As if the current situation surrounding the Portico Agreement is not bad enough for Belize, the United Democratic Party (UDP) is ensuring that international partners are directly being advised and appealed to, to speak out on the government’s plan to amend the Portico Agreement. In a letter dated June 16 from the Opposition Representative on the Belize Fund for a Sustainable Future, Lindsay Garbutt, he registered disappointment in not hearing from TNC regarding the plans for the amended agreement nor on the issue of, ‘significant negative impact on Belize’s marine life and ecosystem, the goes completely contrary to the goals and intent of the Blue Bond Agreement.’ The 2-page letter goes on to cite TNC’s reaction in October 2022, on the Waterloo clearance, where a request was made to have a separate Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the proposed Waterloo Cargo Expansion and Cruise Port facility. It goes on to note that to this date there has been no reaction from TNC on the Portico Project. In conclusion, Garbutt stated, quote, “We hope that TNC’s commitment to conservation and sustainable development will override any financial benefits or international recognition and acclamation that successfully negotiating this Blue Bond Agreement may have brought to your organization. We appeal to you to look carefully at this matter.” End of quote. This is the second letter from the opposition to an international investor. The first was sent out last week to Royal Caribbean and Bokalis International who had both come to an understanding with Port of Magical.