Saturday, June 15, 2024

Government introduces new SI featuring amendments to EIAs

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The government has announced changes in vetting developments needing environmental clearances. As per a release from the Department of the Environment (DOE), an amendment to the existing Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) regulations has changed, as noted in the newly created Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 23 of 2023. The DOE said this amendment ensures the utmost transparency and accountability to the general populace across Belize.
Тhе amended regulations as per the new SI shall apply to any proceedings that have not yet been concluded as of the date of these regulations’ entry into force. It also includes any proceedings that had already commenced when the new policy was enacted. According to an official communique by the government, this amendment went into effect on February 13, 2023.
The main change in the policy addresses the members of the Tribunal reviewing the EIAs or environmental clearances. It says, ‘The members of the Tribunal shall be independent and impartial, and in the exercise of its functions, the Tribunal shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.’ DOE added that the amendment also aims to ensure integrity and fairness in the appeals process to avoid potential conflict of interest.
The amendment of the Regulations was signed by the Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change, and Disaster Risk Management, the Honourable Orlando Habet. The new SI can also be found on the DOE website at www.doe.gov.bz or by requesting a copy via email at [email protected].

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