Apathy or Action in 2010?
To our friends and supporters and to the People of Barbados, we wish you a sincerely wonderful Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.
As we wrap up the past year at the Graeme Hall Sanctuary, we find ourselves thinking about the future.
We worry that the original promise of open green space at Graeme Hall and a legacy of world-class National Parks for future generations is not a priority for those in power. The government's sluice gate has been broken for most of the past 6 years. Pollution from upstream lands seems worse - we just experienced a massive kill of Blue Land Crabs in the wetland. And now the government has re-zoned all the green space, all the high ground suitable for the only possible regional park on the South Coast.
If the government's new plan goes forward, there will be no place for a child to ride a bicycle safely on the South Coast. No place to a family to walk and breathe in the open, in peace. With few exceptions, the South Coast will be wall-to-wall houses and development right up to the sea. That is the government's plan for the future, even though the 1988 National Physical Development Plan and local and international professional planners recommended otherwise.
Government has ignored over 6,000 citizens who petitioned to preserve the Graeme Hall green space in perpetuity as a national park: www.graemehallnationalpark.org
Regardless of where anyone lives in the world, citizens must make these decisions themselves, in the full light of day. It is not up to anyone else.
And in regard to the future of the Sanctuary and pleas to government to address critical environmental issues at Graeme Hall?
There has been nothing. There have been no phone calls, e-mails or any letters from any Minister.
Last January, almost a year ago, we had what we thought was a very progressive 30 minute meeting with Dr. Lowe, Minister of the Environment. He said he was interested in working with us to make the Sanctuary part of a future legacy for the people of Barbados, and he promised to get back to us.
We waited and waited. Nothing.
Nine months ago we heard there was a government budget of a million dollars for Graeme Hall and that a government proposal was on its way. Nobody called us and nothing happened, again.
Last month we heard Dr. Lowe say on the Voice of Barbados that there would be talks with us by the end of November. Nothing - www.graemehall.com/press/releases/Status-Government-Meetings/.
Is this what the people of Barbados want from their government?