November 28, 2020

The Editor Speaks: Conservation to become more conservative?

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Now that former Minister of the Environment Wayne Panton is ‘out of the way’ the door has opened or shut, depending upon what side you are on, for a more conservative approach to Cayman’s conservation.

It has long been known Prime Minister Alden McLaughlin was not 100% behind Panton’s take on the liberalising sweeping changes he put into place to save our environment. McLaughlin wanted a more conservative approach to enable the big investment projects in the pipeline to go ahead swiftly and to narrow the corridor somewhat on what was needed to comply with the law.

McLaughlin also stated that there were a number of elements in the new that were “ridiculous” and in the new government’s strategic policy statement last August they would be amending it quickly.

However, this has not happened and the new Minister for the Environment, Dwayne Seymour, has not been swift to sit down with Christine Rose-Smyth, Chair of Cayman Islands National Conservation Council. In fact, despite her requests for a meeting with the minister none have taken place.

So what these “ridiculous” elements in the Conservation Law are is still unknown.

It does not bode well for our environmentalists when the legislation that is in place over disbursements from the have not happened.

Gina Ebanks-Petrie, Director of the Department of Environment, was hoping the $6M that had been allocated in the previous budget for purchase of land for protected areas would be put in again but indications are there will be nothing this time around.

With the invasive green iguanas marching onwards in their war on our plant life Ebanks-Petrie has been informed she will get only half of the monies she requires in the new budget to fight off this army of green pests.

It would seem Minister Seymour has more pressing concerns with the health crises he has inherited to worry about our environment at this time, even though he has publicly said the work of the is important. It is just not so important at this time.

Sadly, the environment is the most important issue even with all the other seemingly more pressing immediate concerns.

EARTH IS THE ONLY HOME THAT HUMANS HAVE, AND IT PROVIDES AIR, , AND OTHER NEEDS. HEALTHY ECOSYSTEMS ARE NECESSARY FOR FOOD PRODUCTION FREE OF TOXINS. AND FINALLY, THEY PROVIDE BEAUTY IN OUR LIVES.

A deteriorated environment does not support biodiversity and therefore it must be protected.

Environmentalism has different meaning for the poor and the affluent. For a few it means survival but for a few it has secondary importance.

And all the signs are here in the Cayman Islands conservation to become more conservative. Its wide powers at the moment are to shrink.

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News Now that former Minister of the Environment Wayne Panton is ‘out of the way’ the door has opened or shut, depending upon what side you are on, for a more conservative approach to Cayman’s conservation. It has long been known Prime Minister Alden McLaughlin was not 100% behind Panton’s take… Link: The Editor Speaks: Conservation to become more conservative? […]

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