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Saturday, November 27, 2010


What You Can Do to Help Protect San Pedro
Write the Forest Department to encourage it to deny David Mitchell and his company a permit for mangrove destruction in San Pedro. A sample letter is attached, but you are encouraged to express your views in your own words. Letters should be sent to
Forest Department
Re: Mangrove Destruction, David Mitchell
Dear Mr Sabido - Chief Forestry Officer,
I am writing to express deep concern about mangrove destruction in connection with the development planned for the West side of San Pedro,  Ambergris Caye.
I understand that David Mitchell and/or his company will be requesting a permit to proceed with the mangrove destruction necessary for its construction plans on the West side of San Pedro Town. I urge the Forest Department to deny such permit in light of the following factors:
  • The project's proximity to San Pedro Towns Mangroves, a resource of enormous economic and ecological value to San Pedro Town the intended elimination of mangrove nurseries for such endangered species as Nassau grouper.
  • The adverse effect of David Mitchells Development on the commercial fisheries that benefit from mangrove nurseries.
  • The planned elimination of mangroves used for feeding, resting and breeding by numerous bird and reptile species.
  • Removal of the Mangrove Cayes on the west side of San Pedro town will take away the town’s natural protection from hurricanes destructive erosion.
  • The danger of increased sedimentation to Ambergris Cayes Reef caused by mangrove destruction.
  • The danger of increased sedimentation Ambergris Cayes Reef caused by the excavation and dredging described in the project plan, exacerbated by the absence of mangroves.
  • UNESCO has sent a letter to the Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega complaining about, quote “massive removal of mangrove forests” and how this continuing will in effect lose Belize their World Heritage Site status. Belize's Barrier Reef System was given World Heritage status by UNESCO on December 4, 1996. This status is in serious jeopardy from developers clearing large areas of important mangroves.
Neither the tourism sectors of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, nor all those dependent upon tourism, can afford degradation of the mangroves. A permit for mangrove destruction in connection with construction of David Mitchell’s development project cannot be justified in the public interest.
Thank you for enforcing the Forest Act, Chapter 213, and for protecting the forest assets of Belize.


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