Probe Alerts

Probe Alert Fall 2001

Probe Alert Fall 2001
September 1, 2001

Report by British researchers in Belize confirms that the Chalillo hydro scheme will cause a “significant and irreversible reduction of biological diversity in Belize.”


A new report by British researchers in Belize confirms that the Canadian-backed Chalillo hydro scheme will cause a “significant and irreversible reduction of biological diversity in Belize” by drowning much of the country’s unique riparian habitat for endangered wildlife.

Meanwhile, Fortis, the Newfoundland-based real estate developer and power company that owns Belize Electricity, is preparing to send the bulldozers in to the Macal River valley to begin construction of the dam in January, 2002.

The report, prepared by the British Natural History Museum, concludes: “Based on the rarity of habitat to be inundated, and the dependence on this habitat by several endangered species, the “No-Build” option is highly recommended as the most suitable and appropriate option for the long-term viability and conservation of wildlife in Belize.”

Unable to adapt to the new conditions created by the dam’s reservoir, many species will simply either drown, starve or unsuccessfully relocate to other areas.

The 105-page wildlife assessment was relegated to an appendix in a five-volume “project justification report” that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) commissioned to help Canadian companies win contracts to build the $30 million dam.

Belizean authorities have allowed citizens until the end of September, a paltry 30 days, to review and comment on the CIDA report, and are expected to approve the project by the end of this year.

If you would like to review the British Natural History Museum wildlife assessment or the complete 5-volume report commissioned by CIDA contact Probe International at ProbeInternational@nextcity.com.

It’s not too late to help save the Macal River valley from Canadian dam builders. To voice your opposition, please write to:

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien,
Room 309-S, House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6,
E-mail: pm@pm.gc.ca

Brian Tobin, Minister of Industry,
Room 306, Justice Building, House of Commons,
Ottawa, ON, K1A 0A6,
E-mail: Tobin.B@parl.gc.ca

Stanley Marshall,President and CEO, Fortis, Inc.,
Fortis Building, 139 Water Street,
St. John’s, Nfld. A2B 3T2
E-mail:smarshall@fortisinc.com

 

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