30 May, 2007

Environmental Priorities

Environmental Priorities. The greatest threat to Anguilla’s environment remains the unhampered discretion given by the Land Development (Control) Act to ExCo to overrule any decision of the Planning Department. That’s my opinion. It is a power that has been frequently used in the past, to Anguilla’s detriment. Developers have always found government most willing to brush aside the warnings and restrictions recommended by the Planning Department. This is because the politicians claim to see the “wider economic issues”. Our environment, they hope, will last at least until the next elections. That is all they care about. That is their definition of wider issues of every kind.

It is not as if no work has been done on detailing and prioritizing the most pressing environmental issues in Anguilla. The Anguilla National Trust has been producing some excellent work in this area. See for example, the report on the National Survey to Determine the Environmental Priorities of Anguilla: Results and Recommendations by Farah Mukhida found on the ANT website.

Besides the ANT, the agency most in the foreground in protecting us from hazardous waste is the Environmental Health Unit. The EHU is hampered by the almost total lack of laws and regulations to enforce environmental standards. That sad situation will only change if government can be persuaded to usher the planned new comprehensive Environment Protection Act through the Legislative Assembly, unaltered. My understanding is that it will give the Director of Environment a power to require cleanups. If this new law were to be enacted unaltered, it would give Anguilla the most comprehensive and effective environmental protection legislation anywhere in the West Indies. Of course, it would all be meaningless if government inserts a power for ExCo to overrule the Director.

I would be interested to hear what, in your view, are some of the most pressing environmental priorities in Anguilla at this time.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the biggest threat to our environment is our Ministers. They aren't as bad as Hubert, who bragged about how many times he overruled Planning. He has also popularised the ignorant view that those of us who care about the environment and the future of our island care more about lizards than we do about people.

    Orris Proctor did his job with integrity when he was Planning Officer. The guy who's there now is useless; some believe he's corrupt although I have no information on this point.


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