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Bahamas: NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Cat Island environmentalist decries Disney EIA as insufficient; calls on govt to pause project

CAT ISLAND, BAHAMAS — The Cat Island Conservation Institute (CICI) is urging the government to hold off on approving Disney’s Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera, project for one year until the company completes a community environmental impact assessment (CEIA).

A letter from CICI member Nikita Shiel-Rolle, otherwise known as Eagleray Empress, was submitted to the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection on Friday, May 7 — the same day public feedback for Disney’s 500-page environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the proposed project closed.

Citing what she called “egregious gaps” in the EIA, Shiel-Rolle argued a CEIA would provide higher quality data about the project and “illustrate the true environmental impact of this development in a way that the Bahamian people can understand”.

“I would like to emphasize that I am deeply concerned with the underwhelming and egregious lack of substance in the EIA as it relates to the environmental impact of the cruise industry in perpetuating the climate crisis and the environmental impact of the industry on the entire country of The Bahamas,” Shiel-Rolle said.

“We urge the government of The Bahamas to place a one-year pause on this project until a community environmental impact assessment has been conducted and publicly reviewed.”

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