Waterloo Investments Challenges Oceana and Environmental NGOs Over Controversial Agreement
Waterloo Investments is calling on Oceana to break the silence of the environmental and conservation community over the Definitive Agreement. A letter was sent to Senator Janelle Chanona this afternoon, questioning their silence on the issue. The letter says that the Portico Enterprise Agreement would endanger marine life and the environment, yet there has been no objections or outrage from the environmental NGOs. The letter reads, in part, quote, “It is therefore surprising that there has been no public response on this matter from either you or the coalition of environmental NGOs that had initially expressed concern over this proposed development in 2017.” End of quote. The letter goes on to cite one instance where Oceana and the environmental coalition were quick to react to Waterloo developments back in 2022. It goes further to remind Oceana of their campaign against gillnets that led to the signing of an SI, and a recent study that reported an increase in manatee deaths due to boat traffic. On that backdrop, Waterloo wrote, quote, “Surely the damning, nightly revelations have now reached such critical mass as to excite those concerned with the protection of the environment to question the legitimacy of the environmental clearance granted since it is now clear that the Port of Magical Belize is situated directly in the path of one of the known ranges for these manatees, will disrupt the natural environment for this endangered species and will expose the area to manatee traffic perhaps to the same extent – if not greater – than gillnets.” End of quote. Love News did reach out to Senator Chanona for comment, and was told, quote, “In my capacity as Senator, I can share that like many concerned Belizeans, I have been closely following the various leaks and developments related to the multiple port proposals. It is my opinion that a thorough and transparent investigation is warranted to ventilate the significant issues that have emerged to date. These are public assets and therefore everything related to these proposals should be in the public domain. In my capacity as Vice President of Oceana, I stand by all my on the record statements and positions on the numerous and significant concerns emanating principally from the fact that these mega-development proposals have not been and are still not being considered collectively and therefore, their combined impacts are not being calculated cumulatively…… Bottom line: None of us want any frightening surprises to show up on the horizon, “binding” agreements to pop up or any “secret” financial liabilities to be demanded from the public purse without our collective awareness and consent.” End of quote. The letter was signed by Stewart Howard, CEO of Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited via Attorney Abner Peralta.