23 November, 2007

Baseline Data

Commitment No 7: Review the Range, Quality and Availability of Baseline Data for Natural Resources and Biodiversity. This was the seventh commitment made by the government of Anguilla, like other OT governments which in the year 2001 signed up to an Environmental Charter [link here] .

Dr Mike Pienkowski is the Chairman of the UK Overseas Territories Conservation Forum. He was engaged as a consultant to examine how we were performing under our Charter. He prepared a Report of August 2007. His Report measures performance by the year 2007 of UKOTs and the UK Government in implementing the 2001 Environment Charters. A copy of his 19-page Report can be read [link here].

According to the Report, Anguilla is doing about average in meeting its obligations in relation to this commitment. There are some taxa and natural resources for which base-line data have been collected and made available. [A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a name designating an organism or group of organisms. A taxon is assigned a rank and can be placed at a particular level in a systematic hierarchy reflecting evolutionary relationships: [link here]]. Similarly, there are some taxa and natural resources for which there are, apparently, monitoring programmes in Anguilla. In this, we are said to be similar to such territories as Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos. But, we are said to have to do a lot to catch up with Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

I would really appreciate it if someone in the Environment Department or the Anguilla National Trust could enlighten us as to what exactly it is that we in Anguilla have done to meet this commitment. Does it only mean that we have been counting iguanas? What about the rubbish dumps that are developing on the road to Cap Juluca Hotel? Or, on the dirt road through the Hughes Estate from Anguilla Trading to Long Bay? Do these count, or are they irrelevant to natural resources and biodiversity?

1 comment:

  1. For years I've been reading about the monitoring of sea turtle nestings in Anguilla. Recently I was surprised to learn that after all the announcements, moratoriums, grants, seminars, articles and calls upon higher powers, Anguilla has very little useful baseline data on turtle nesting.

    Data has been collected by the National Trust, the Environmental Department, Fisheries and quite a few visiting scientists. Who was supposed to coordinate all this work? What have they done with the data? Is there life after all the press releases? Are we doing science or just making noise?


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