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NEPA conducting preliminary assessment of Goat Islands

Published:Tuesday | August 27, 2013 | 10:03 AM

The National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) is now conducting an assessment of the area covering the Goat Islands which Chinese investors have reportedly indicated is their preferred site to build the multimillion-dollar logistic hub.



Last week, the Land and Environment Minister Robert Pickersgill disclosed that the government is giving serious consideration to the proposed site.



The announcement has angered environmentalists who say the Goat Islands are protected under law and should not be disturbed.



They stress that the construction of the logistic hub would irrevocably displace marine life and the livelihood of fisherfolk.



Contacted yesterday, Permanent Secretary in the Land and Environment Ministry Dr Alwin Hales said he is not in a position to respond to the concerns.



According to him, no application for a development or environment project has been made to the ministry regarding the Goat Islands.



However, Hales says NEPA’s assessment is a preliminary step which will be used to advise Pickersgill.



He says the evaluation involves, among other things, looking at the necessary regulations and legislation, the status of the proposed area and international obligations for the proposed site.



The permanent secretary says the preliminary assessment is being prepared so that in the event an application is made to utilise the Goat Islands the applicant can be advised of the steps which would be needed to be taken if the project is to go ahead.



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