Public input and contributions vital in project implementation


22-April-2013

EIAs are tools that ensure that development projects do not adversely impact on the environment and society. In situations where those impacts can be mitigated, then recommendations are made to address those.

The ministry’s declaration is in reference to Bel Ombre Hotel Development (site situated between Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove and Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay). As per the EIA regulations, the public and other concerned organisations, the private sector were consulted on the project.  One of the most significant requests was the guarantee of public access to the line card site, and in 2012 (before even the contractor was mobilised on the actual hotel site) the access was constructed, along with parking facilities for the public. Within the framework of this development members of the public will be able to freely access the beach at all times, provided they respect other laws such as noise, littering and lighting of fires. Other concerns such as the playing field are being addressed by the developer with the district administration.

The rich and fragile biodiversity of each site have been considered and the developer/contractor have been advised which trees to remove and which ones to keep. In situations where protected and other important trees fall within the footprint of the proposed development, either the particular development will be shifted or the tree relocated or replanted.

Upon completion of the project, a full forest restoration with coastal tree species will be done with the aim of restoring some of the original vegetation as the site was previously overgrown with invasive such as the Albizzia and other creepers.

The developer will also restore the original wetland area and create a wetland supporting species such as the terrapins, crabs and moorhen (pouldo) and also allow uninterrupted flow of storm water from the Beau Bel area. 

Before construction works begin all terrapins will be trapped and relocated to another area. Once restoration is completed the terrapins will be returned.

To protect the beach and ensure uninterrupted access to it, a setback of the development from high water mark has been maintained and there will be no construction on the beach and within this setback. Where appropriate the coastal vegetation will be restored. While work is in progress the existing coastal vegetation buffer will be preserved and even enhanced as part of the development.

Environment officers accompanied  by those from the planning authority will be conducting weekly monitoring visits to the site in order to ensure that conditions set in both planning approval and environmental authorisation are being respected.

Residents are being urged to understand that construction noise will be generated from site during official construction hours given to the contractor. In order to facilitate monitoring of the project, the public is being urged to report any nuisance or abnormal activities in and around the site concerning the development to the ministry through its Greenline Number 2722 111

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