December 3, 2020

The Editor Speaks: The environment might now be seen as a priority

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Colin WilsonwebWith Cayman’s policy towards the environment being woeful, neglectful, and abysmal over the past fifteen years, with even ‘wannabee’ politicians having campaigned last May they are 100% environmentalists – but not now, I could see no change in any governments policy to protect it.

It did not feature high on any agenda, if at all.

Even in the Progressive’s election manifesto it was way down on the list of things they would put in place, if elected.

However, we do have a Minister for the Environment who is actually for the environment. And that is a major change.

The Hon. Wayne Panton has promised he will steer the new environment legislation through before Old Father Time scythes his way to the end of 2013.

I was also pleasantly surprised to hear our new governor, Helen Kilpatrick, say in her acceptance speech she is committed to the management of the islands’ natural resources.

She said on her visit to the Cayman Islands last July she had found the “beauty of the islands was eclipsed only by the warmth of the welcome I received from those Caymanians and others I had the pleasure to meet.”

“Whilst the elected Government is responsible for the protection and conservation of the islands’ natural assets,” she said, “I am committed to working with the Government and civil society to ensure that these assets are managed and protected in a manner that benefits their incredible value.”

I am sure Gina Ebanks-Petrie, Director of the Department of Environment, must be encouraged.

She has continually warned Cayman cannot continue to develop without giving the same consideration to environmental issues as it does socio and economic ones. She said to continue to allow major projects to begin without carrying out environmental impact assessments would be disastrous for our islands.

The ecological clock has been ticking down for some time on many of the islands unique species that without proper protection are in serious danger of disappearing, she added.

Panton was a leading member of the National Trust for many years and knows full well the problems coastal development has done to our precious commodity and number one tourist attraction – THE SEA.

At last we seem to have two persons in authority who really can see.

 

 

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