Press Release June 1, 2018
Organizations, Business Owners and Concerned Citizens Unite To Stop Destructive Development In Hol Chan Marine Reserve & Cayo Rosario
In response to the recent public meeting and the resulting unanimous outcry against over-the-water development in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development has reassembled.
The ACCSD is not a group against development. Their mission is to promote sustainable development; to protect and enhance our natural resources without compromising the livelihood of this and future generations.
Earlier this week, the ACCSD convened and elected a new board representing many different sectors of our island.
Members of the board are as follows:
Rebecca Arceo, Chairperson
Gary Greif, San Pedro Town Council, Co-Vice Chairperson
Chris Beaumont, Co-Vice Chairperson
Rebecca Coutant, Secretary
Chris Beaumont, Treasurer
Billy Leslie, President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association
Tamara Sniffin, Representative of the San Pedro BTIA
Miguel Alamilla, Representative of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Everett Anderson, Representative of the San Pedro Tour Operator Association
Gricel Graniel and Elito Arceo, Representatives of the Business Sector of San Pedro
The near-term goal: To contest and reverse the NEAC decision to allow the building of 50+ over the water structures around Cayo Rosario on the west side of Ambergris Caye. This, in addition to over 55,000 cubic meters of dredging of the protected flats and an proposed underwater pipeline, all in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, should never be allowed.
The ACCSD strongly urges the Board of NEAC as well as the developers to reconsider building over public and protected waters.
Legal steps are also being taken.
The broader goal is firmly rooted in sustainability for the entire island. This includes a thorough look at the EIA process – from the introduction of new development plans to approval. Transparency and representation from the areas most affected by development are critical and necessary.
The ACCSD will be announcing meetings, public awareness efforts as well as fundraising measures over the next month.
It is in the interest of every resident of this island to stand together to protect the integrity of our natural and cultural resources. It is what makes Belize so incredibly special and keeps visitors returning year after year.
The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development hereby notifies the public that we have a newly appointed Co-chair for our organization. As of May 13, 2014 Mr. Billy Leslie has accepted the post and will be working along with us in his new position. He has been serving as Director for the past 4 years and has been very fundamental in the establishing of the organization.
We are pleased that Mr. Leslie has accepted this appointment and we are sure he will represent the organization well and contribute much to the community.