Chalillo Dam, Belize

Fortis gets green light: Privy Council backs Belize dam project

LONDON - Newfoundland energy conglomerate Fortis Inc. will step up construction on the Chalillo dam in Belize after a ruling by the Privy Council in London yesterday gave the green light to the US$30-million project.

A 3:2 majority verdict dismissed an appeal by the Belizean Alliance of Conservation Organisations (Bacongo), a coalition of environmental groups which claimed Fortis, through its local subsidiary, Becol, wanted to build the 50-metre-high concrete dam on porous and rock over an unstable site.

£20m dam in Belize backed by Privy Council

The Privy Council yesterday approved the construction of a £20 million dam on the Upper Macal River in Belize which environmentalists claimed would put lives at risk and destroy the habitats of some of Central America's most endangered species.

Conservationists said the dam site was composed largely of porous rock and the Privy Council found that maps submitted by Becol, a Belizean subsidiary of a Canadian energy conglomerate, Fortis Inc, in an environmental assessment report omitted a geological faultline.

Resolution on the Protection of the Macal River Valley in Belize

World Conservation Congress Resolution

on the

Protection of the Macal River Valley in Belize

(CGR3.RES032)

RECALLING that the World Conservation Congress at its 2nd Session (Amman, 2000) adopted Recommendation 2.86 (Protection of the Macal River Valley in Belize);

RECALLING that this Recommendation identified the tropical forests of Belize as providing some of

Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Governmental Organisations v. Department of the Environment (1) and Belize Electricity Company

Privy Council Appeal No. 47 of 2003

The Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Governmental Organisations

Appellant

v.

(1) The Department of the Environment and

(2) Belize Electricity Company Limited

Respondents

FROM

THE COURT OF APPEAL OF BELIZE

---------------

JUDGMENT UPON A PETITION FOR A

CONSERVATORY ORDER OF THE LORDS OF THE

JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL,

Delivered the 13th August 2003

------------------

Present at the hearing:-

Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe

BACONGO v. Department of the Environment (1) and Belize Electricity Company Limited (2)

Privy Council Appeal No. 47 of 2003

Belize Alliance of Conservation Non-Governmental

Organizations Appellant

v.

(1) The Department of the Environment and

(2) Belize Electric Company Limited Respondents

FROM

THE COURT OF APPEAL OF BELIZE

---------------

JUDGMENT OF THE LORDS OF THE JUDICIAL

COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL,

Delivered the 29th January 2004

------------------

Present at the hearing:-

Lord Steyn

Lord Hoffmann

Lord Rodger of Earlsferry

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