Belize: Supreme Court rules govt. skirted obligation to disclose information to affected communities about environmental impact of Norwegian Cruise Line project

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Article
18 January 2016

BTIA court victory will not stop Harvest Caye; guidelines handed down for future projects

Author: Aaron Humes, Breaking Belize News

Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel on Wednesday handed down his decision on the case of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) versus the Department of the Environment (DOE) and National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC). BTIA’s suit, filed in 2014 and argued last year, accused the Department and the Committee of not following their own regulations regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), concerning proper public notice and terms of reference on supplemental information requested by the Department from Belize Island Holdings…Lead attorney for Belize Island Holdings…characterized BTIA’s lawsuit as “academic” at the time of arguments in court, in that even if successful it would not have any effect on the project. While that may be so, BTIA’s lead counsel…says that as a result of this case, large mass tourism projects now and in the future of tremendous importance to Belizeans must see the DOE must faithfully follow the nation’s laws if our future environment is to be protected. But…admits, BTIA cannot stop the project because an injunction would have seen BTIA risk liability for financial damages if the case was lost…

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Article
15 January 2016

Victory in Belize

Author: ELAW

ELAW partners in Belize have won a strong victory for citizens who want a voice in decisions about proposed developments. The Supreme Court ruled that government agencies must give citizens a real opportunity to review and comment on plans for a development...

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Article
14 January 2016

Supreme Court says NEAC fast tracked Norwegian Cruise Line Harvest Caye facility

Author: Guardian (Belize)

Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has ruled that the Department of Environment’s National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) took important shortcuts to have fast tracked Norwegian Cruise Line’s (NCL) Harvest Caye Berthing facility in the south. The Committee…did not perform its full legal obligation to the public when it did not allow the general public enough time to digest NCL’s updated environmental impact assessment (EIA) on how it will responsibly develop Harvest Caye with minimal - if any - negative impacts to the environment which surrounds it…As a consequence, the judge has ordered that the defendants, which includes the Government and the developer, Norwegian Cruise Line, must pay court costs to the plaintiffs of $50,000…

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Article
13 January 2016

Belize Tourism Industry Association v. NEAC, DOE et al.

Author: Supreme Court of Belize

[Full text of the judgment]

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