Who We Are

Mission

Our mission is to support and promote sustainable development on Ambergris Caye and in its surrounding area through education, awareness and citizen involvement.  Sustainable development meets the needs of the present while protecting and enhancing natural resources without compromising the livelihood of this and future generations.

Board of Directors

Chairperson – Rebecca Arceo
Vice Chair – Gary Greif/Chris Beaumont
Secretary – Rebecca Coutant
Treasurer – Chris Beaumont
Directors –

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

History

The ACCSD was created by residents of the island who see an urgent need for planned sustainable use of our coastal and marine resources.  Members of the organization come from varied backgrounds and professions but share a common interest of conserving the environment through proper planning as responsible stewards.

Ambergris Caye is an important tourist destination in the Belize, catering to approximately 60% of overnight tourist arrival in the country.  However, the success of the tourism industry on the island has attracted mega-developments that do not confer with the ecotourism tourism product being marketed for Ambergris Caye.  This uncontrolled development now threatens the long term health of our coral reefs and associated ecosystems.  Additionally, it will affect the livelihood of many locals who depend on a healthy coastal and marine environment for their sustenance.

A perfect example of this is the proposed South Beach Mega development which proposes to alter over 500 acres of perfectly healthy and productive mangrove wetlands.  The proponents of this project fail to understand the vital role that mangrove play by providing a habitat and nursery for many species of fish and invertebrates; serving as a breakwater that dissipate wave energy and help stabilize the shoreline; filter nutrients and pollutants that would otherwise contaminate the reef.  South Beach development is not consistent with sustainable tourism.  The most dangerous aspect of this project is its proximity to Hol Chan, which is important to the island’s economy, both today and in the future.

The group is also calling for a master plan for Ambergris Caye.  We need planned development that follows sustainable practices of resource use.  Each new development must be considered within the context of the sensitive nature of our island’s environment and the effects of previous developments.

Coral Reefs, Sea grass meadows and mangrove wetlands are all interconnected and each is dependent on the other for their survival.  Therefore it is important that we develop initiative that promote sustainable use of our coastal resources and guarantee long term benefits to our community.

Current Goals

  1. 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.
  2. Have the “Master Plan” for the island formulated and made into law.
  3. Assist Government agencies in monitoring all developments on the island to ensure they follow the laws of Belize.
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