Blue Hole Natural Monument and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument are both located within Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Puerto Azul Exclusive Resorts and Hotel is a proposed development just north of these two sites on Northern Two Caye and Sanbore Caye. Puerto Azul boasts to be a luxurious eco-development that, above all, will be very environmentally conscious, sustainable and pro-active. But like most developments in pristine and reserve areas of Belize, it is receiving quite the negative feedback and causing quite a stir within environmentalists and concerned citizens.
Show business talent and product manager Oscar Generale and businessman Domenico Giannini - the president of Puerto Azul Exclusive Resorts & Hotels have just recently hosted a star-studded Puerto Azul Experience at Villa Saint Georges at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the new luxury resort in Belize.
Special guests to the exclusive event included Belize’s Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and Belize Minister of Investment Promotion & Private Sector Development, Hon. Erwin Contreras.
The “PuertoAzul Experience Night” at Cannes is a new and exceptional project born from the collaboration between Oscar Generale, former EURweb Original Guru of Business & Style and one of the most important talent & product managers in show business and Domenico Giannini, a most eclectic and volcanic businessman who is currently the President of Puerto Azul Exclusive Reports & Hotel.
Artists attending the event included vocalist Andrea Bocelli, acclaimed actor John Travolta, super model Heidi Klum, actress Kelly Preston, plus Academy Award Winners Adrien Brody and Hilary Swank, to name a few.
John Travolta gave an enthusiastic two thumbs up as Domenico Giannini showed the pair pictures of the construction in progress that was printed on a huge table
According to Puerto Azul developers, the resort plans to combine the excellence of its luxury project without creating a massive environmental impact, but instead exalting the protection and enhancing of natural and environmental resources and social services. They state that Puerto Azul Belize will be unique and exclusive, one that cannot be considered either a resort or a tourist village, but a real 'citadel of luxury' surrounded by the sea, entirely autonomous and equipped with all the necessary facilities to ensure a high level of comfort.
Puerto Azul is designed to accommodate 1,000 guests and 2,000 employees. Some of the facilities include: Residential suites, apartments and overwater bungalows, bank & business center, police station, coast guard, fire brigade, telecommunications center, golf courses, shopping areas, amusement park, super yacht marine, diving school, hyperbaric chamber, botanical garden, hospitals, vocational school and sewage and waste management to name a few.
In addition to being a premiere hotel and resort, Puerto Azul says it will demonstrate a great care and concern for the people of Belize and has thus formed The Tree of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit organization that is intended to support protection projects, conservation and development of the territory and the local population.
Puerto Azul will permanently reserve a percentage of its profits for the Tree of Dreams Foundation to fulfill objectives of social value through ecological sustainability procedures. Some of their specific initiatives include the creation and maintenance of wells and watersheds, the development of medical centers, expanded educational facilities and the preservation of marine life in the reef of Belize.
Environmentalists are strongly opposing the project as they believe it will have a major negative impact on the reef eco system. Here are a few concern of their concerns:
* Northern Two Caye is one of two cayes in the Lighthouse Reed Atoll with mangroves
* Shredding all mangrove will destroy the nursery habitat for all the fishes
* Belize has one of the largest Nassau grouper spawning aggregation just outside of Sanbore Caye
* Northern Two Caye and Sanbore Caye are two protected areas which are components of the World Heritage Site
*Massive Dredging will impact the fishing industry- destroying sea grass beds, conch population in the area, and mangrove ecosystem
* Blue Hole is an icon for Belize and if any sedimentation or silt or massive development is to happen, there will be some devastating impact to the Blue Hole and Halfmoon Caye
But developers from Puerto Azul state that they have no interest in tarnishing the gem, but do quite the opposite and that is to polish it and make it shine as bright as possible – environment first. Although the project is just at the stage of submitting an Environmental Impact Assessment, with no actual development taking place yet, they have started cleaning up the area and protecting turtle nesting sites.
Developers state that they are bringing in the best and highly accredited environmental firms to do all the necessary studies and using the latest in technology to protect, preserve and enhance the environment in which it will be located as the demographic of their clientele they are targeting are also very environmentally conscious.
“We are very positive about the outcome,” stated one of their representatives to Ambergris Today. “These developers are going to help the entire country develop properly. They will be investing in preservation, propagation and enforcement of protected areas around the country."