BLUE BAY IS SAVED !
ecosud at intnet.mu
Thu Apr 19 07:02:19 EDT 2001
To all those who showed interest for the case of the endangered marine park of Blue Bay in the island of Mauritius (Indian Ocean) :
BLUE BAY IS SAVED ! THE EIA LICENCE HAS BEEN REFUSED TO THE HOTEL PROMOTERS !
You may remember that the marine park was threatened by a hotel project on an islet in the middle of the marine park. Last September, preliminary works on the mainland had caused acidic mud to spread in the bay on a distance of 80m, thus causing siltation on the coral patches for which the bay is renowned.
The promoters did not have the required permits. So the newly elected government issued a prohibition notice against the works and they were stopped on 13th September 2000.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project was then requested from the promoters. They submitted it on 15th November 2000. The public was invited to study it and send their comments to the Ministry of Environment.
The ecologist group ECO-SUD (who has been fighting this project since 1996) together with other ecologist organizations, marine biologists, environment professionals and nature lovers, severely criticized the EIA report which they found light and unprofessional.
After a careful study of the EIA report and the public's comments, the EIA committee finally came to a decision on Friday 13th April 2001 :
THE EIA LICENCE WAS REFUSED TO THE PROMOTERS !!
The reasons for their refusal are : the high impact of the project on the marine park; the sensitive nature of the islet and its fragile ecosystem; the proximity to the airport runway; the risks of marine pollution; the increased boat movements in the marine park.
The promoters have not commented the decision of the government yet and will do so after their board meeting.They have one month to appeal to the Environment Appeal Tribunal if they wish but it seems most improbable...
The Ministry of Fisheries for his part has started the zoning of the marine park and will soon be implementing rules and regulations concerning access to the park. So for the first time after all these years, there is hope for the future.
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