BELIZE CITY, Fri. Aug. 27, 2021– During an interview last week, Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño commented on the concerns that have been raised by local environmental organizations about the potential damage being caused to the country’s freshwater sources by Boiton Minerals Limited, a company prospecting for gold since the ’90s in the Chiquibul National Park.
The government has since issued a press release indicating that a compliance assessment would be carried out in the areas where breaches of environmental regulations have been reported and that fines would be levied against the company if any infraction has occurred.
Reports from the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) indicated that a new road clearing was created by the company, and the disruption to that piece of land is causing sediments to fall into an important water tributary.
According to the FCD, this could potentially affect the source of waters that flow into the Belize River, which provides almost 50% of the country’s fresh water.
“We have to protect the Chiquibul. The Chiquibul is one of the most important watershed areas in this country, and it provides most of the water for the central part of Belize, so I want to make that very clear. With the issues of Boiton Minerals, if they have broken any law or anything like that, of course, they have to be held accountable for it. I don’t know all the details, but from what I have been told, they are saying is that they opened no new roads, what they did was the old roads that they have there that the BDF and even FCD uses, that what they did is fixed it and made it more passable, that road,” Prime Minister Briceño said.
“But we will have a full review. We will have the Ministry of Sustainable Development to take a look at it and to listen to both sides, to listen to FCD and listen to Boiton Mineral and then if Boiton Mineral broke any environmental laws or anything, like everybody else, they have to be held accountable,” Hon. Briceño went on to say.