Saint Lucia – public consultation on draft geothermal ESIA to be held 12-15 March 2018

View over Soufriere, St. Lucia, Caribbean (source: flickr/ donnierayjones, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 8 Mar 2018

Public consultation meetings on the draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment report for geothermal development in Saint Lucia, Caribbean will be held next week.

This week we reported on the release of the draft Environmental and Social Impact Assessment for the geothermal project in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. At the same time it was announced that public consultation process is to start soon. Now the government has announced meetings to take place next week.

In July 2017, the Government of Saint Lucia contracted Panorama Environmental Inc. to prepare an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for exploratory drilling activities in Fond St. Jacques, Belle Plaine and Mondesir-Saltibus.

The ESIA, which involves a preliminary assessment of environmental and social impacts associated with the exploratory drilling phase of the project, was completed in January of 2018.

The ESIA includes the preparation of a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) for the Geothermal Project. The Government of Saint Lucia looks forward to receiving feedback from the various stakeholders by facilitating dialogue, as it seeks to address and clarify pressing questions or concerns expressed by members of the community.

The Public Consultation on the draft ESIA will be held from March 12th to 15th, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, in the following areas:

  • Saltibus /Mondesir – Monday March 12th at the Saltibus Primary School or Community Centre
  • Belle Plaine – Tuesday March 13th at Belle Vue Farmers’ Cooperative
  • Soufriere/Fond St Jacques – Wednesday March 14th at Whispers
  • In Castries – Thursday March 15th at the office of the Castries Constituency Council (Castries City Hall)

The consultation is open to all key stakeholders and residents in the town of Soufriere and Choiseul where the geothermal resource is located. A special invitation is extended to the communities near the project area, including Belle Plaine, Mondesir, Guyabois, Parc Estate, Saltibus, Fond St. Jacques and Belvedere.

Transportation will be provided for residents from Fond St. Jacques, Belle Plaine, Saltibus/Mondesir and environs to facilitate their participation in the public consultations on the aforementioned dates. The Government of St. Lucia will continue to dialogue with residents and other stakeholders throughout the life of the project, to ensure that the public’s interests are protected and that the project is implemented in accordance with industry standards.

Minister with responsibility for Sustainable Development, Hon. Dr. Gale Rigobert fully endorses the process, recognizing the important role that the harnessing of geothermal energy can play in getting Saint Lucia on to a more sustainable energy path.

For further information please contact Ms. Charlin Bodley and Ms. Danielle Gordon at telephone numbers 718 6814 or 718 9581 respectively.

Source: St. Lucia News Online