Update: The Department of the Environment
may have delayed consideration of approval for Yum Balisi until after
completion of the Coastal Zone Management Plan (approximately 2013).
However, we have been unable to obtain accurate information about
the status of this proposed resort.
Like the proposed Chrysalis Resort,
initially did not require the developer of the proposed Yum Balisi
resort to complete an EIA, even though Schedule 1, Section 8(h) mandates
a full EIA for any resort within a protected area. DOE has now
required a full EIA, which is dated November 2010, but only released for
public review around 1 February 2011.
The proposed Yum Balisi resort, proposed to be
located on Fisherman's Caye in the Pelican Range of the Southwater
Marine Reserve, a World Heritage Site, now includes 5 1-bedroom
luxury cottages, 14 1-bedroom premium cottages, 10 2-bedroom deluxe
duplex cottages and 6 1-bedroom eco-cottages, for a total overnight
guest capacity of 90. Estimated transient guest capacity is 50
per day and 40 staff members (12 living on the caye).
Other developments on the island would include a 10,000 square foot
lobby/restaurant/office area, 900 square foot office, 1500 square
foot business center, 4 gift shops (2400 square feet), 2500 square
foot spa, 1000 square foot beach bar, 2000 square foot research
center, 3000 square foot coral reef learning center, 2000 square
foot maintenance building, 500 square foot gen set building, 1000
square foot nursery, 3500 feet of interpretive walkways, a 15-slip
(30 boat) berthing facility (dock?), a 5 tie-up dock, 5 mooring
buoys a kayak center and transient docking facility with 3 tie-ups
and 2 swimming/ floating platforms.
As acknowledged by the Environmental Impact
Assessment for the proposed Yum Balisi resort:
- Species richness and live surface cover in the Pelican Cayes
are unparalleled in the Caribbean;
- On and around Fishermen’s Caye, EIA consultants found 47
species of fish, “an uncommonly diverse population of colorful
and large sponges,” “70 species of ascidian fauna in 30 genera,”
extensive seagrass beds that “provide important habitat and
serve as critical nursery areas for important commercial species
such as fin fish and conch . . . and also provide natural
corridors for juvenile lobsters,” 52 species of echinoderms,
“ten of which had not previously been reported from Belizean
waters,” 16 species of live coral, 12 species of other marine
creatures, including crab, conch and lobster, and 30 species of
grass, algae and other marine plants;
- Significant numbers of juvenile fish and other invertebrate
species are present including barracuda, grunts, snappers,
angelfish, parrotfish, jacks, butterfly fish, and damselfish;
- The lagoonal waters of the Pelican Cayes support an
unusually rich and diverse reef fauna.