01 December, 2007

Environmental Publications

Commitment No 10: Promote Publications that Spread Public Awareness of the Special Features of the Environment in the Territory. This was the tenth, and final, commitment made by the government of Anguilla, like other OT governments which in the year 2001 signed up to an Environmental Charter [link here]. This post brings me to the end of this examination we have been conducting of the various commitments made by the government in signing up to the Charter.

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. The 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]. We come now to the end of our glimpses at our government’s efforts to meet these commitments.

The Report tabulates the number of publications on local environmental topics by government and NGOs in each year from the year 2002. Anguilla is alone in claiming to have published none until this year 2007. We claim three publications by government this year. I am not aware what they are. Perhaps the explanation lies in the fact that the government-funded Anguilla National Trust has been engaged in a number of publications. The ANT claims 7 publications. This is better than BVI and Cayman Islands NGOs, but not as good as Bermuda and TCI.

I hope someone will tell us what exactly these government publications on the environment were.

I found it telling that no one in the Department of the Environment or in the National Trust thought it necessary to come online and respond to any of the implied criticisms in this series of posts. Perhaps they had nothing to say. I may have to come back to this Report in a while, if that does not change.


  1. I do not take comfort from these comparisons with other islands. In the first 11 months of this year 18 police officers have been killed in Jamaica. Should we say that compared to Jamaica, Anguilla has no crime or violence?

    Anguilla was until very recently a place of great promise. With the corrosion of beliefs and standards that has come with the money economy, the guiding star that was once ours can no longer be seen with the naked eye.

    Some of those who were once heros of our environment have become bureaucrats, and have run for cover. My neighbour says this is further proof that these are indeed The Last Days.

  2. The Anguilla National Trust since the Charter came into being has published or is continually publishing the following:-

    A Guide to the Plants of Anguilla
    A Guide to the Birds of Anguilla
    The Reptiles & Amphibians of Anguilla
    Linking the Social with the natural: A Socio-Economic Review of Shoal Bay / Island Harbour
    Anguilla at a Crossroads: Heritage, Development and the Anguilla National Trust (video documentary)
    Monthly Eco-Corner (featured in The Anguillian Newspaper and Anguillanews website.

    These are the publications and productions outside of articles and contributions that have been made to other publications done by other agencies, entities, etc.

  3. Is the Socio-Economic Review of Shoal Bay/Island Harbour a secret document? Why have I not heard of this before? Why is it not available on the internet?

    Note that the title of today's blog is "Promote Publications that Spread Public Awareness of the Special Features of the Environment in the Territory." Note the word "Promote". Note the reference to spreading public awareness.

  4. What programme does ANT have in place to promote the Environmental Charter itself? Or, if ANT prefers, how are they promoting the St. Georges Declaration?

    What action plan does ANT have for implementing either of these? Where may I see a list of what yet needs to be done and how they propose to make these things happen?

  5. By now we should understand that Anguilla will not uphold their agreements with anything or anybody. They appear to be just a bunch of childish person spitting into the air so to speak. There are a few who are willing to tackle this job but the majority are just content to sit back and allow others to dictate their course of action. Despite our protests and objections, Gov't and Gov't officials still do as they please without consequences. It is time we act responsibly and root out these oppressors and effect a new change and direction for our people and country. We must have people who are not afraid to ensure that there is accountablity and transparency in Anguilla.

    Why do we accept this is beyond me, however, we need less talk and more action to get things turned around.

    What is the purpose of entering into agreements or associations if we purposefully neglect our obligations and commitments? Our responsibility is aggressive enforcement of our policies and regulations and leaders who are willing to stand up and do this. If there are entities who are empowered with these responsibilites, who need to be compelled or forced into action, then so be it. If they are reluctant or negligent then the powers that be have a duty to the public to remove them from office and replace them with persons who will get the job done.

  6. The socio-economic review of Shoal Bay and Island Harbour can be found on-line on the ANT website. The link to the document is:

    Socio Economic Review

  7. Anguilla is becoming like the USA during the gold rush era. People are less mindful of the havoc they can and are causing on our island and its environment. We have to stop and think for a moment to reflect on just who will get hurt when this is all said and done. These foreigners will return to their respective countries when our paradise is all used up and contaminated. The stench of sewage and other hazardous contaminants dumped into our midst will drive away all our visitors but it is us who have to endure and stay around for we have nowhere else to go. I am not against foreigners or their investments, nor am I racially biased. I am just concerned that the destruction or harm to our environment and ecosystem might be irreversible unless we act now to protect and preserve it. Because of the size of our island, it is easy for the ecosystems it supports to be seriously affected by any change however minute. It therefore behooves us to be careful stewards of what we have less we lose it forever. I am an avid advocate of conservation and protection of our natural resources and environment but I alone cannot fight this battle. It requries the effort and participation of all Anguillians both at home and abroad to spread this public awareness and bring to the forefront the urgency of this crisis facing us.

  8. The above poster calls for joint action to protect our natural environment. That is the primary reason the National Trust was formed.

    It is understandable that the Environmental Department acts like an arm of government instead of environmental activists. They are, in fact, an arm of government. But when the National Trust acts the same way, it is not only disappointing, it is inexcusable.

  9. Thank you for the link to the Shoal Bay/Island Harbour report. There seems no way to find this report without first knowing what the link is -- the URL. It is not accessible from the website's home page under "Pulbications" and when I ask Google to find it by its title, it has no idea what I'm talking about. When I enter the link itself in Google we see that the master GoogleBrain that seems to find everything else on the internet has yet to find this page.

    Like much else in Anguilla, if you want any real information you need to "know somebody" or have inside connections. It's almost as if there were a law here saying that foreigners and newcomers must know only the superficial and inoffensive things that fill "The Anguillian" such as this week's headline news, "Increased Jets for Thanksgiving" and "Cultural Fair Opens Tourism Week".

    I feel excluded. The reason I feel that way is because I _am_ excluded.

    This publication might as well be a State Secret for all the good it did to post it on the internet. The topic of today's blog is to "promote" these publications. Perhaps the National Trust is unclear on this concept.

  10. Recent Governors in St. Helena had had the bearing of undertakers in some quaint small town in The Midlands. They have a new Governor. He is an outsider, not an aging officer in the foreign service, so he missed out when they were teaching arrogance and secrecy.

    This week after the Executive Council met, he walked over to the radio station, all by himself, without anyone begging him for a year, and told the people what they had done that day in Council.

    We have many miles to go on the road to freedom.

  11. ANT is having its annual general meeting on Thursday night. They must not want anyone to show up and ask embarrassing questions, because they didn't bother to advertise the meeting in The Anguillian.

    The meeting promises to be very exciting, if you enjoy hearing polite reflections on how well they are evaluating themselves.

    A gentleman working in the tax office in Finland was discovered to be dead sitting at his desk. None of his colleagues had realised he had died until two days later. They all claimed to be out at meetings.


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