THE Stop Disney - Last Chance for Lighthouse Point campaign took its crusade a bit further, bringing a mobile billboard to The Walt Disney Company’s D23 event on the weekend in Anaheim, CA.
The billboard was meant to draw attention to the “growing global opposition to Disney’s current plans to develop a massive cruise ship port” at Lighthouse Point, Eleuthera, organisers of the campaign said in a press released.
“The Stop Disney - Last Chance campaign has provided a platform for thousands of people across the world to share their concerns about Disney’s current development plan,” the press release noted. “The stopdisney.com petition has attracted nearly 75,000 supporters in just five weeks. The petition calls upon Disney to cooperate with Bahamian groups on a win-win solution, including locating their port to a more suitable site and pursuing a sustainable alternative to preserve the point and provide greater benefits to local communities in South Eleuthera.”
The press release added: “The D23 event brings together Disney fans from across the country to celebrate the company. Disney has stated their commitment to ‘ensuring a world where wildlife thrives and nature is treasured and protected’. The Last Chance for Lighthouse Point mobile billboard calls attention to the contradiction between that promise and Disney’s current plans to develop a cruise ship port, including a half-mile-long-pier, in an untouched natural environment and proposed marine protected area.
“Many supporters of the Stop Disney - Last Chance campaign have indicated that they are long-standing Disney fans, but they have been shocked to learn that Disney Cruise Lines is planning to develop a cruise port and pier in such a special place surrounded by seas containing endangered coral reefs and rich marine life. Bahamian environmental groups remain eager to cooperate with Disney on a win-win alternative.”
In July, Tourism Minister Dionisio D’Aguilar said the petition will have no bearing on the project going forward.
“The government has already made a decision on this. That project is going forward,” Mr D’Aguilar said last month.
The Freetown MP doubled down on the government’s confidence in Disney’s ability to proceed with the project in the best way possible, insisting the developer was sure to handle the environment with sensitivity.
“I have said before that Disney is a stellar company that is world renowned for its reputation on the environment, on employment matters, on labour issues,” the minister said. “They’ve given us a commitment that they’re going to keep it low density (and) they’re very, very, very mindful of the environment.”
Disney has insisted that the company will only proceed with the project if it can be done in an “environmentally responsible manner.”
“Our own internal team of animal and conservation experts is working closely with a highly qualified team of Bahamians and an experienced international firm to develop a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and environmental management plan that align with our company’s deep and longstanding commitment to the environment,” Disney noted in a previous statement.