– Press Release- Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development – October 5, 2018, – Members of the board of the Ambergris Caye Citizen for Sustainable Development (ACCSD) held a very successful meeting with San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero on Thursday, September 26, to discuss the controversial Cayo Rosario Development.
Mayor Guerrero stated, ” I’am totally against the Cayo Rosario development and anything that negatively affects the environment on the bay, the inner lagoons and the beachfront.” In fact, Mayor Guerrero and Belize Rural South Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, the Honorable Manuel Heredia, were a part of the initial team that spearheaded the expansion of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve to protect this very area. This approved development at Cayo Rosario contradicts the very reason so many worked hard to expand the marine reserve.
Both the Mayor and the ACCSD agree – the island itself is private, and the developer has the right to build on their island – but the surrounding waters and seabed are part of the protected Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council stand with the ACCSD recognizing that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of this island’s most important environmental and economic assets.
Comparison of Original Design with Scaled Down Re-design
The ACCSD consists of concerned citizens, industry stakeholders, and business owners as well as leaders from the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, San Pedro Tour Operator Association and the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Cayo Rosario is a small island just off the west coast of Ambergris Caye – visible from the Secret Beach area. The caye is just over six acres and sits within Belize’s most popular protected area, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. A thick ring of mangroves surrounding a small inner lagoon, the island has been well known as a “Bird Island” – famous for the nesting ibis and roseate spoonbills.
Some of the finest fly-fishing flats in Belize surrounds the small island. These very flats support a significant industry that can continue to generate substantial direct and indirect economic contributions for future generations of Belizeans. The Cayo Rosario development, as approved by the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, calls for 54 over-the-water structures, 50 more partially over-water and on-land structures, and the dredging of 55,000 cubic meters of sand from the marine reserve for land creation.