06 October, 2007


When Pessimism Sets In. I read the press release in my Inbox. It said,

Press Conference on Anguilla’s Biodiversity Strategy & Action Plan:

The Government of Anguilla as part of its renewed commitment to sustainable management of the country’s limited natural resources has initiated the preparation of Anguilla’s Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (ABSAP).

At this critical juncture of this initiative, the Department of Environment extends invitations to all Media Houses, Heads of Departments with responsibility for Natural Resource Management to a Press Conference outlining the details of the ABSAP.

Please join us Monday - October 8, 2007, at the Anguilla Tourist Board Conference Centre at 2pm.

The Department of Environment through the Ministry of Environment will be detailing the concept, focus and benefits of the ABSAP to Anguilla’s current development landscape. The team of regional and international consultants facilitating the consultation as part of the development of the ABSAP will be available to answer questions.

In my innocence, I thought it sounded like a good idea to attend. I contacted some of my environmentally concerned friends. I asked whether they would like to be there with me. The responses were discouraging, to say the least. One wrote back in reply:

I listened with belief and encouragement when they signed the Environmental Charter.
I listened again when I read the United Front Manifesto. I was encouraged. I voted for them.

I don't go to ceremonies.

I am no longer interested in listening to promises about what is to be done about Anguilla's environment. I have been to what used to be a landfill at Corito. I have been to what used to be Windward Point Beach. I have been to what used to be Sile Bay Beach. I have seen the pilings dumped on the beach at Mariners. And I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.

I was there when Olasee Davis said, "Because we don't think about the future they will never forget us."

It is truly saddening to know so much about our island.

I have learned that it's possible to know too much.

It completely put me off. I don’t want to go to the Press Conference any more. Is this too pessimistic? Do you, by contrast, have the courage to hope for improvements in the future? If so, it probably means that you are younger than I am!


  1. The 28 September 2007 issue of the official government "Gazette" (which is surely the place to hide information from the general public) advises us that we are invited to comment on the application of the Gumbs Family to construct a road across Rendezvous Pond, and a seawall.

    Anguilla's Environmental Charter obligates government to require an environmental impact report for proposals the size of the Rendezvous one.

    As government has been in the habit of ignoring its own requirement for EIAs, I don't know if one is being prepared for this project. Either way, we will not see it during the three weeks we have in which to comment. How can we comment intelligently while we are thus kept in the dark?

    Or is that their intention?

  2. Is the Gazette available online? I am tired suggesting to those in positions to put information online. Our people are starved for knowledge. And no one is seeing the need to use technology.

    WHy are we paying department heads big money if they have no ideas about getting their offices up to 21st Century capabilities. It's not even expensive to do. But it can be time consuming. May be our people need to account for every minute they are being paid by government and stop with the 2 hour lunches.

  3. The BVI have put their Gazette online. It should be easy to do the same thing in AXA

  4. Let us hope that the answer is a resounding NO to that application.
    Allan Gumbs, with his faux Americab accent, cannot be permitted to destroy the environment.

  5. Brad Korzen and Bob Sillerman, with their "real American accents" have been allowed to destroy the environment, why not Alan?

    Commenting on websites is great and allows us to anonymously vent our frustrations but in this case we actaully are being asked for our comments and how many will actually take the time to view the application and comment based on fact?

    Anguilla needs to get more proactive - or at least active. For too long we have been reactive and look where its gotten us.

    We should insist that the GOA make the Gazette available online and we should go to Planning - or the library - and read the plans and applications and comment. Remember, Rendezvous is only the beginning of the next phase with Altamer, Conch Bay/Fairmont and Shoal Bay all starting soon. Cap Juluca will come after those and who knows what is planned beyond that?

    Wake up Anguilla!!!

  6. Dispite our resevations or objections to what the Gov't is or is not doing in terms of protecting our natural resources,it is still our duty to voice our views about it and if possible attend any meetings proposed.This may seem a futile effort but this is still a good way to be heard and let Gov't know in public forum our objections to any plans or proposals they try to initiate.Even though we can always make them understand or acquiese to our wishes,at the least we would have tried to do some thing about it.
    Perhaps,it is because Anguilla has been such a closed community for so long ,that it is difficult for most to really comprehend the serious impact these projects can have on fragile ecosystems such as ours.If we were to take note of the big and powerful countries whom are investing millions on research and studies relating to the protection of their ecosystems,perhaps it would give us a clue that we are in a precarious situation and need to act now.We should not be blinded by the greed or the dollar.If funding is the issue then compel these businesses to either finance the study or share part of the costs.
    I kn ow we have people in these departments who are perhaps capable of collecting suffiecient data but we need to employ and team of scientists who have experience in this field and access to powerful computers, who can utilize their programs to interpret this data for us.This is the only way we can guarantee or ensure that we have a sound report and one that we can rely on for its accuracy.
    It is then up to Gov't to implement the recommendations listed in those reports if it is really concerned about our ecosystems and environment.
    Failure to act responsibly is foolish and will be catastrophic to our environment.

  7. I am tired of the above poster sitting in New York and telling me what to do. I never voted for her to be Inspector General. I am not a child and I don't want to be told what I must do or should do.

    If I want moralising and preaching I can read Nat Hodge's annoying editorials.


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