Promised Meeting Fails to Materialize - Government Officials Refuse to Respond
An official at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary confirmed that the Government of Barbados had again failed to set a publicly promised meeting regarding the future of the Sanctuary.
According to a Voice of Barbados broadcast that included an interview with Minister Denis Lowe, a meeting was to be scheduled at the end of November 2009. A link to the VOB interview can be found at: www.graemehall.com/audio/VOB-Interview-Denis-Lowe-20091109.mp3.
It has been over a year since any face-to-face contact between Sanctuary and government officials occurred.
In August 2009 the Sanctuary sent a letter to the Barbados National Trust in response to a Trust enquiry, but there has been no word back.
There has been sharp criticism of the government's lack of response, and it has been confirmed that there is a governmental agenda to develop the last remaining green space between the Airport and Bridgetown around the Sanctuary and the wetland.
The new government plan to allow construction of residences and commercial buildings is contrary to the original 1988 National Physical Development Plan recommendations made by previous government and UN planners to provide a green urban buffer at Graeme Hall.
The Graeme Hall buffer is the last remaining green area for a regional park on the South Coast, and was to serve the recreational and conservation needs of citizens living in the growing communities of Bridgetown and Oistins.
There has been no response from government to the bilateral investment treaty complaint filed by Mr. Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary. The complaint alleges that Barbados continues to damage the Sanctuary by not enforcing its environmental laws or properly managing wetland water levels.
There is a growing belief that the government has decided to expropriate the Sanctuary.