Tag Archives: Environment

Bridgetown Careenage and Harbour beautiful… but deadly to Sea Turtles

Honey Bea Fishing Barbados

Honey Bea III refuses to answer accusation of fishing for turtles

Contributed by BFP reader CJB

The Careenage and Harbour used to be a garbage strewn muddy dump. They have spent years cleaning it up and landscaping the surrounds. They have even restored the lift bridge to working order. However now that the area has been cleaned up and the water is far less murky (polluted?) turtles have started to appear, largely attracted by the free food from the deep-sea fishing boats moored there.

Unfortunately some of the deep-sea fishing vessels are now also trying to catch the turtles with rod, line and hook. The boat we saw was Honey Bee III. (Editor’s note: I think he means Honey Bea III)

They had a rope over the side with what looked like the entrails of a large fish at the end of it – two Hawksbill turtles were attempting to get bits off it. One was an adult, another a juvenile. However there was another conventional fishing rod and line with hook also dangling in the water. It was baited with fish – quite why it was there is a moot point. It was this that the adult turtle got caught on – obviously attracted to the bait on the hook. There was quite a struggle by one of the guys to ‘land’ it and the rod bent right down. Eventually the turtle surfaced and its head broke the water – my photo in hi-res clearly shows the line from the rod to the hook in its beak.

Then the line snapped and the turtles (both) swam off. The two staff carried on gutting a barracuda as though nothing had happened. The whole incident also witnessed by a number of tourists.  Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

Daughters of the Niger Delta “The oil has spoiled everything for us…”

BFP has been invited to see this documentary on Saturday March 8th. We’ll let you know what we think. Here is a description from the film’s website:

Daughters of the Niger Delta
Documentary (55:30 min)

Daughters of the Niger Delta is an intimate film portrait of three everyday heroines who manage to make ends meet against all odds. As their personal stories unfold, we come to see that the widely ignored environmental pollution in their backyard is not the only human rights issue affecting their lives.

The Stories

The film radically differs from the usual media reports about oil outputs, conflict, and kidnapping. It gives a taste of everyday life in the Niger Delta through the eyes of three ordinary women: Hannah, Naomi & Rebecca. Their struggle to survive in the delta’s beautiful but pollution-marred wetlands confronts us with the human impact of corporate irresponsibility, gender injustice, and failing government service delivery.

The stories of Hannah, Naomi, and Rebecca are sobering as well as uplifting. They shed light on day-to-day injustices that we rarely hear about in the news. But they also highlight women’s strength and resilience. Despite the hardship affecting their lives, the filmed women are determined to give their children a better future. Women may be the best captains to navigate the Niger Delta out of its troubled waters – if only they were given the chance.

Women’s Voices

It’s time to listen to women’s voices. Their priorities are relevant not only for the Niger Delta, but also for other parts of Nigeria that currently are marred by violence and social unrest. Women’s experiences can enrich the policy discourse – if only we are willing to listen.

Film website: Daughters of the Niger Delta

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Filed under Africa, Disaster, Environment, Human Rights

Bajan Dreamers heading for the Antarctic! (with a little help from their friends)

Bajan Dreamers Antarctic

Bajan 17 year-olds Mickell Als and Shanice Holder have a dream: visit the Antarctic in 2015 while working to protect the environment.

Both have already been hard at work for years with various environmental and community projects on the rock – and now that they have been selected to be team members on the International Antarctic Expedition (IAE) 2015, all they need is a little help along the way. Cash, that is.

World Electronics in the Bridge Street Mall signed on as their first corporate sponsor, but Mickell and Shanice know it’s going to take more work to raise their mission profile and convince fellow Bajans that theirs is a worthwhile project. We at BFP are convinced that the project will benefit the environment, Barbados and the two young people so we’re on board to help them as we can.

BFP pledges to do regular stories about their project and progress and we’ll also publish some articles from their BajanDreamers blog. And yes, we’ll also do what we can to publicize their other sponsors like World Electronics (who are selling the new BlackBerrys Q10 & Z10 unlocked, for the lowest price we could find.)

Good luck to these two fine young people and… Keep working hard at your goal!

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Barbadians should shake and fold!

The popular adoption of small ideas can lead to big changes. Here’s one from the TED Talks.

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Free market and science drive Apes Hill Club’s choice of grass

apeshill_Barbados

Barbados Free Press has been kicking ’bout hey for over seven years and that is a long time in the blog world to post every day and build credibility with the search engines like Google and Yahoo!. Readership goes up and down with the news stories and when a big event happens we receive tens of thousands of visitors a day. Our best day ever was 44,087 visitors and just last week we did alright when some discussion about Harlequin was flying and 33,669 visitors stopped by.

Those numbers aren’t much compared with the big blogs that drive that kind of traffic and better every day, but we still do 3 million visitors a year at BFP and that’s not bad for a little nothing blog run by a bunch of drunks and the occasional unemployed aircraft riveter. (Anybody want to buy the world’s best set of bucking bars and dimplers – give me a shout! And when I say “the world’s best set” I mean it. It includes some wildly customized bucking bars and cutters that you didn’t even know you needed until you use them. I shoulda patented them a long time ago but it’s too late now.)

Some press release agents think Barbados Free Press is a real newspaper. Huh?

Some people mistake us for a real newspaper (or maybe they don’t) and we receive a couple of dozen press releases a week about anything and everything. Most are boring product announcements but today we see one about a type of grass that does exceptionally well in the Barbados and similar climes. I never considered it before but the press release has me thinking about how a good drought-resistant grass could save big money for a golf course over a few years. Water is scarce and expensive in Bim, so the choice of grass for any type of space should be a carefully considered decision.

Apes Hill Club Nursery is the licensed producer of this Zoysia sod in Barbados. That probably means it’s expensive… but how much water will you save over the years by using this type?

Robert

BARBADOS — Bladerunner Farms, the world’s largest privately owned zoysiagrass research and development facility, is proud to announce that Apes Hill Club Nursery, a licensed producer of JaMur Zoysia on the Caribbean Island of Barbados, now has this environmentally friendly turfgrass available for harvest.

The wholesale Apes Hill Club Nursery grows 15-acres of JaMur Zoysia for harvest as sod, along with some 50,000 plants, that are sold to commercial landscapers, land developers and homeowners on the island of Barbados. Ed Paskins, CGCS, is the golf course superintendent at the neighboring Apes Hill Club golf club and was instrumental in developing the Apes Hill Club Nursery.

Before planting the sod farm at Apes Hill Club Nursery, Paskins visited the Poteet, Texas, research facility of Bladerunner Farms to see JaMur Zoysiagrass in a real-world situation. That visit helped him decide to license JaMur Zoysia for use in Barbados.

“You need to know that you’re getting quality and that the person is going to stand beside it. I think that because Bladerunner Farms is a family business and the owner, David Doguet, was willing to put his reputation on the line for the grass was extremely important,” Paskins said.

…continue reading this article at WorldGolf

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Environment

Electricity from ordinary sewage waste: Microbial Fuel Factory Cells

microbial fuel cell

Barbados should give MFC’s a look!

by Robert D. Lucas, Ph.D.
Food biotechnologist.

Recently there has been much talk about the diverse means available of obtaining energy from renewable sources (solar, wave, wind as-well-as bio-diesel/gas). However, no mention has been made locally of the use of microbial fuel/factory cells (MFC’s). MFC’s are devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy as do batteries, via the use of micro-organisms.

Unlike batteries, MFC’s can sustain their output of electricity as long as the chemical input is maintained. Most bacteria are electrochemically inactive and cannot be used in MFC’s. Those bacteria which are capable of producing an electric current are called exoelectrogens. Exoelectrogens, when placed into a suitable medium, transfer electrons (negatively charged particles) to an electrode which has been inserted into the medium. This flow of electrons is facilitated by an active electron transport system, which carries electrons directly from the microbe’s respiratory system to the anode ((negatively charged electrode).

“MFC’s do not depend on sunlight to be able to function. There is no need to have storage facilities for storing electricity as is the case with solar energy.”

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

Chunk of glacier becomes an iceberg the size of Manhattan

Thanks to an old friend for this interesting short. Aside from the astounding and beautiful photography and the scale of the ice ‘calved’ from the ice fields, I did not know that the ice fields have retreated more in the last 10 years than in the last 100 years.

Those who say that human activities don’t alter the earth’s climate are living in some sort of reality warp. Any pilot who has flown into New York City on a winter’s day will tell you about micro-climate: about how the heat, thermal mass and exhaust from this great city causes local climate changes including temperature inversions and dangerous wind shears, local icing, and restricted visibility – depending upon the prevailing winds and other factors.

If that’s what we can do on a purely local basis, imagine what humans do around the globe! When they burn the fields in Brazil, it’s Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) for hours when there is no real need of it. It’s the same in the Philippines – only there crop burning usually makes big and violent rainstorms. You can see them forming over the smoke if you’re sober!  :-)

Have a look at this short for the visuals and for the message. Visit the website too: Chasing Ice

Robert

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One video Elizabeth Thompson won’t be showing at the Earth Summit in Brazil

Browne’s Beach: effluent meets the water as it has for a decade and more…

As we’ve said in the past, Liz Thompson did little except talk when she was Environment Minister. Her environmental legacy includes not bothering to introduce an Environmental Protection Act, letting corporate polluters like Shell Oil run wild in Barbados, building a garbage dump on shifting soil in a National Park, killing the last mangrove forest and telling environmental activists to shut up if you are white.

The video above is courtesy of Barbados Today, and shows beautiful Browne’s Beach where the effluent from five canals (and all those suck wells along the canals – that’s ‘septic tanks’ to outsiders) joins together and flows onto the beautiful tourist beach and into the sea.

How about a sea bath at Browne’s Beach? Anyone?

Further Reading

Elizabeth Thompson a big shot at upcoming Rio Environmental Conference.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment

Should you turn off the lights for Earth Hour? An environmentalist talks about his doubts.

Well-intentioned people produced some of history’s worst environmental disasters

by Nevermind Kurt

Hundreds of millions of people around the world will be switching off the lights at 8:30pm tonight (March 31st) and we will too. It’s time again for ‘Earth Hour’ – the largest environmental event in history. Last year over 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries participated, and that included a home near Grape Hall, Barbados where yours truly and a few friends sat outside in the dark and sipped cold Banks beer from the electrically-powered refrigerator still humming away in the house.

Luckily the petroleum-based paraffin wax candle burning on the kitchen table didn’t set fire to anything. To be truthful, we never thought about how the smoke from the candle impacted the ozone layer. We saw the candle as a symbol that we were doing our bit for the world.

We felt good about our little Earth Hour party. We were doing something important to help the environment. It was good for the environment, wasn’t it? It did help forward the environmental movement around the globe… didn’t it?

This year though we’re going to do something a little different: we’re going to talk about whether Earth Hour does any harm to the environment or to the environmental movement, and if so, what lessons can be learned and what should be done about it.

I can already hear the angry shouts from fellow environmentalists “How could Earth Hour possibly harm the environment? How could it harm the environmental movement?”

Calm down, friends. Unless you’ve thought about my questions before, why do you think you immediately know the answers? Why do you react so defensively when someone dares to deconstruct what you believe or asks you to verify that which you hold as environmental truth?

When science and common sense yield to shouted dogma

Shouldn’t we constantly question ourselves, our peers and the environmental elites and leadership? Why the defensive, dare I say almost religious indignation when someone dares to question the environmental dogma of the day? Where does this precious environmental dogma originate… from the environmental gods and saints? Is it therefore never to be challenged?

The environmental experts, gods and saints haven’t done so well lately. They have been wrong on more than a few occasions. Like all human beings they are sometimes wrong as individuals and not infrequently they act like a herd of lemmings headed for the proverbial cliff. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

LED Lighting: Cost effective? We’re going to try it…

Jim Reid of Caribbean LED Lighting Inc. says that LED lamps can save up to 80% on electricity, are safe, environmentally friendly and don’t spread mercury and all those other nasty chemicals like the florescent bulbs do when they break.

Okay, Jim… we’ll give your product a try and report back to our readers in a few months.

Caribbean LED Lighting Inc.

Caribbean LED Lighting Inc (CLL) was born out of a passion for all things environmental, reducing our carbon footprint and helping our Customers do the same. That is why we focused on LED lighting.

Headquartered in Barbados and with distribution locations in Grand Cayman, Jamaica , St Kitts and Grenada we manufacture, assemble, distribute and sell LED lighting across the Caribbean and Central America’s.

Phone: 246-621-0092

e-mail: sales@caribbeanledlighting.com

www.caribbeanledlighting.com

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Filed under Barbados, Energy, Environment

Barbados: No rules about chemical use, storage, dumping

This week’s chemical disaster could have been prevented

This week’s spill disaster again reminds us that when it comes to environmental standards, laws and performance, our leaders have made us a third world country.

Sermac Laundry on Baxters Road burned over the weekend. That is expected: businesses and homes burn regularly. That’s why we have a fire service.

The problem with Sermac was that the building was full of drums of new and used chemicals – just waiting to make a routine fire into a neighbourhood-threatening disaster. With no laws the owners did what they wanted for years and now it’s our problem. Street closures, schools and businesses closed, ground water contaminated.

“[W]hat happens is that a number of laundries that use that chemical, since they don’t have an avenue for disposal, they store it on their premises …”

Roy Ward, head of RGW Consultants Inc, who was responsible for the clean-up at Sermac Laundry this week after the fire that destroyed the small business over the weekend. Source: Barbados Today (and thanks for the photo!)

For 21 years the BLP and DLP promised to put an Environmental Act in place. They lied and Barbados suffered. When Shell Oil had their massive pipeline spill of jet fuel and contaminated wells all along the pristine southern coast, there wasn’t a damn thing that could be done because there was no law against it.

When Fibrepol dumped gallons of acetone into the water table, there was no law against it.

When factories keep hundreds of rusty drums full of poison in a field with no fences and where children play, there’s nothing to be done because there is no law against it.

And when a dry cleaning company like Sermac stockpiles thousands of liters of poison in a residential area, there’s still no law against it.

To all our Environment Ministers, past and present, we give a hearty “Thanks for nothing.”

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Reduced bus service targets working poor

When you drive a BMW SUV, you don’t give a damn about bus service for working folks!

“Recently some bus routes were downgraded to a 2 hour schedule. That is fine during off peak hours, but how about every 30 minutes during rush hours? That will certainly help the poor working class and those who depend on the service.

Just an idea for the smart people at scheduling.”

contributed by BFP reader “M”

Time to limit cars & road construction.

Invest in public transit that works

When the bus schedule changes were announced, the government SAID that service would be maintained more frequently “where needed”. That didn’t last long, did it? What the government doesn’t seem to get is that the service has to be there, frequent and RELIABLE before greater numbers of passengers will trust the service enough to rely upon it for work.

We agree 100% with our reader “M”, but we’ll take that much further…

It is time to limit the number of 4 wheeled vehicles per household as Bermuda did years ago. It is time to stop building new roads and to start investing in public transit that works. Two hour bus service is a joke.

You want to empower ordinary working people? You want to give them more money in their pockets? Make personal autos a luxury and not a necessity as they are now.

You want to ease traffic congestion? Don’t build more roads for more cars. Instead, make it easy and affordable to own a scooter or small displacement motorcycle. Take the duty off motorcycles under 150cc and off electric motorcycles and bicycles.

We cannot keep going the way we’re going with the only “solution” being more personal autos on more and wider roads. This madness must stop!

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Filed under Consumer Issues, Environment

Greg Cozier sidesteps Vaucluse Raceway lawbreaking

NO PERMIT WAS ISSUED but Crozier and his friends said “Piss on the law, we’ll build anyway.” and that is exactly what they did.

Damage Control over Bizzy Williams telling the truth!

Dear Barbados Free Press,

You haven’t written about Greg Cozier’s reply to your Bizzy Williams’ “piss on the law” story. Did you miss it in Barbados Today?

“Anyone reading … [timeline of events regarding Vaucluse Raceway] would immediately see that, on one hand, branches of the Government of Barbados supported the creation of Vaucluse Raceway while, on the other hand, other branches of Government opposed it,”

Greg Crozier quoted in Barbados Today Blame Gov’t for conflict

Mr. Cozier is one of the principals behind the Vaucluse Raceway and it looks to me like he tried to do some damage control after Bizzy Williams pointed out that Crozier and his friends broke the law by building the racetrack. (Bizzy also admitted that he didn’t obey the law either when he built Bushy Park track.)

Cry “Government Red Tape” for public sympathy

Barbados Today says “Greg Cozier clears air regarding bureaucratic red tape with Vaucluse” but there’s no “air clearing” that I can see. Mr. Crozier attempts to justify his lawbreaking by blaming “government red tape”. He ducks and weaves all around the truth: When he and his partners couldn’t get their own way, like Bizzy Williams they said “Piss on the law” and just went ahead anyway.

It is true that some government departments (like Industry) supported Vaucluse, but it is also true that many more in government oppose the raceway including the local MP. After a study the Ministry of the Environment was dead against it and refused to issue permits and the Ministry go ahead. Agriculture is against it.

Thousands of people in the area and on the access routes are dead against the project because we put up with HELL whenever there is an event at Vaucluse Raceway: noise, garbage, traffic congestion, drunks and bad behaviour and that is when the crowds head in before the racing starts!

At night the sound of the engines carries so far and it is LOUD. We have one of the highest population densities in the world and we don’t need more noise.

Most at the Barbados Tourism Authority are luke warm to Vaucluse at best because they recognize that we have so much willy-nilly development on the island that we are in danger of losing the beauty and feel of Barbados. This is more willy-nilly development because there was no plan at any stage. Vaucluse started as a dirt track with no approvals or permits. Crozier and his friends just did what they wanted to do and to HELL with the rest of the community especially the nearby residents.

Don’t be fooled by the Barbados Today interview and article. Crozier will either get away with breaking the law, or he won’t. Whatever happens to him will be an example to everyone else.

The “red tape” that Crozier is talking about are LAWS that he and his friends didn’t comply with. The “red tape” is our government saying “NO” based upon the rules and standards we have in Barbados.

NO PERMIT WAS ISSUED but Crozier and his friends said “Piss on the law, we’ll build anyway.” and that is exactly what they did.

submitted anonymously

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SAFETY WARNING: Mullins Bay fouled by dirty water, chemicals from JADA construction site.

Blue sky, Caribbean sea… and the filth near shore

Turtles in trouble – swimming in JADA’s swill

Royal Westmoreland Beach Club patrons also exposed

Our friends at Mullins Bay blog are sending out a safety alert after tying to take a sea dip on Tuesday afternoon, September 27, 2011.

Where is the Coastal Zone Management Unit? Where is the Minister of the Environment? Where is Prime Minister Stuart after his fine fine coastal environment speech at the United Nations? Where is former Environment Minister Elizabeth Thompson whose BLP government couldn’t pass an Environmental Protection Act in 15 years of majority government?

Swimming in JADA Construction’s filth

This blogger was taking such a dip in the sea today around noon and all was going swimmingly until I noticed a foul chemical odor in the water and noticed that it had turned milky. I decided that something bad was happening and that I needed to get out of the water as quickly as possible. It was then that I noticed a juvenile turtle sticking its head out of the milky water in the nearshore area as if it were suffocating and/or struggling to to leave the area…

It was only after complaining to relatives visiting from the UK and USA who had gone about two hundred yards up the beach to Mullins that I learned of the source of the discharge – the JADA construction site opposite the Texaco Service Station in Road View, St. Peter. I was swimming in JADA’s swill.

Full story/photos/video at Mullins Bay Blog: Beware of Mullins Beach Area

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Environment, Health, Nature

Green Antilles – Excellent Caribbean environmental website

We’ve added Green Antillies blog to our sidebar links and we hope you enjoy the news, stories and links as much as we do. Our friend Thérèse Yarde takes a little bit of Caribbean environmental news, mixes in some alternative energy features and stories about wildlife, reefs and agriculture to create a superb daily read.

If you are interested in Caribbean environment, nature conservation and energy, Green Antillies.com is for you!

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Energy, Environment, Nature, Wildlife

A tribute to assassinated Environmentalists

“She’s Alive” is a must-watch video

In Barbados we’ve seen for ourselves what happens when corrupt politicians and their developer friends want to turn public lands into private profits: they just do it. If laws stand in their way, they change the laws. Look at what happened to the Graeme Hall Wetlands and two National Parks.

If citizens stand in their way, activists are marginalized by whatever means the government thinks it can get away with. Sometimes that means using tax audits and agriculture inspections to communicate the government’s displeasure to an environmental activist. A tax audit or threats to shut down their business usually shuts people up. If the activist has a lighter shade of skin then a Minister of Government can declare on television that the opponent should be ignored because they are “Caucasian”, “rich and white” or “white plantocracy”. Sometimes three cane fields mysteriously burn three weekends in a row. Just ask “Caucasian Male” environmental activist Richard Goddard about all that.

If some of the land the government and their developer friends want is privately held, the government expropriates the land and very often doesn’t pay the owner. Then the land is transferred to “private concerns” for development. By strange coincidence, sometimes a Government Minister ends up living on the expropriated and never paid for land. Just ask Gline Clarke.

I don’t think we’ve had any Bajan activists murdered or beaten over environmental concerns, but there have been threats, incidents, break-ins and arson over environmental, political and social activism. Just ask Adrian Loveridge, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner and a host of other folks on this island.

The video “She’s Alive” is not only stunning and beautiful, it reminds us that standing up for a just cause can be dangerous when evil and powerful persons want their profits and don’t care about anything else.

Partial List of Assassinated Environmentalists

Chico Mendes – 1988
Ken Sarowiwa (Saro-Wiwa) – 1995
Dian Fossy – 1985
Joan Root – 2006
P.D. Majhi – 2007
Amit Jethwa – 2010

(Thanks to an old friend for suggesting this powerful video.)

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, Human Rights

EPA bans sale of Dupont herbicide Imprelis

Controversial Herbicide is available and in use in Barbados

Thousands of complaints of unintentional tree kills

Damage into millions of dollars

If you have any Dupont Imprelis you might want to think twice before using it as the US Environmental Protection Agency EPA just banned the herbicide because it’s killing trees by the thousands.

Apparently the newly launched “environmentally friendly” weed killer isn’t so friendly with trees and shrubs.

Now here’s the question: If you don’t want to use your remaining herbicide, what should you do with it?

Any suggestions from the cheap seats? How about from our own Environment Ministry?

Further Reading

Miami Herald: EPA yanks tree-killing herbicide Imprelis off market

Our thanks for the tip from BFP reader Kammie Holder

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Filed under Agriculture, Barbados, Consumer Issues, Environment

Charlée Gittens wins United Nations International Letter-Writing Competition

Winner from Barbados selected from over 2 million entrants!

Charlée Gittens

This year’s contest marked the International Year of Forests and had students from around the world assuming the identity of a tree and writing letters. Barbados’ own Charlée Gittens won gold along with Wang Sa from China. (There were two first prizes awarded this year and we’re not sure if that was due to different age categories or if the judges thought both winners deserved 1st.)

The international jury called Charlée Gittens entry “a powerful, personal and touching composition dealing with the issue in a very global manner. Comparing the plight of forests to some of the world’s great crises sends a strong message about the importance of protecting forests.”

The jury consisted of Jan McAlpine, director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat; Jean-Paul Paddack, director of the network initiatives support unit; Daniel Shaw, head of communication at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Jean-François Thivet, philately expert at the UPU International Bureau.

Charlée Gittens’ letter is displayed at the end of this story, so just scroll down when you want to read it.

“Don’t listen to politicians’ worthless words about our environment: LOOK AT WHAT THEY DO. Look at their actions to see the truth.”

Destruction of Barbados Forests & Natural Heritage

The purpose of the United Nations contest is to direct world attention to critical issues of the time and this year the issue was forests. I don’t think either the United Nations or Charlée Gittens will mind that Barbados Free Press uses Charlée’s letter to remind folks of the neglect and outright destruction of our natural heritage by the current DLP Government, and by the past BLP Governments…

Kiss your Graeme Hall National Park goodbye. "Protected" area in red now approved for development by friends of Government.

Graeme Hall Wetlands, National Park and Nature Sanctuary

The people of Barbados were betrayed by their political leaders when in January 2008 our Parliament voted to remove the legal protection against development for vast areas of the Graeme Hall Wetlands. The area had previously been set aside for a National Park but the politicians knew they could sell the land to their developer friends or relatives for cheap and make oodles of filthy money. So they changed the law to allow them to develop the last major green space between the airport and the city.

That’s what they want to do and they have the power so they are doing it. No more Graeme Hall National Park. While they are at it, they are killing the last major Mangrove Forest on the island because they want to build a condo city and make even more money.

Walling off the West Coast, hoarding sand

It is a little known fact that most of the travel brochures and hotel websites show 15 year old photos of our West “Platinum” Coast beaches because if they showed folks what the Barbados West Coast really looks like today nobody would book the hotel.

For the elites with money there is a solution though: make a “political donation” and the government will allow your property to build groynes into the sea to capture the sand for your hotel’s beach. Of course it destroys other people’s beaches – but they don’t give money to the politicians so that’s okay! Mexico put a stop to destructive groynes. Barbados should do the same.

And don’t forget as a bare legal minimum to put a narrow little path from the road down to the beach so citizens can access the beach. The secret to keeping out ordinary folks from enjoying the beaches is to provide no parking and no pedestrian bridges to cross the dangerous highway. That keeps those filthy Bajans away from the nice West Coast beaches so the high-end tourists don’t have to worry about the noise from happy Bajan children and families enjoying their own country.

No Environmental Legislation for 46 years

Theft of Scotland National Park

Politicians’ words mean nothing: their actions speak the truth.

The BLP and DLP governments did all that to us and more. Remember that folks, next time you hear some fat politician talking about “the environment” or “sustainable development”.

“Don’t listen to politicians’ worthless words about our environment: LOOK AT WHAT THEY DO. Look at their actions to see the truth.”

40th UPU International Letter-writing Competition for Young People

1st Prize

Author: Charlée Gittens from Barbados

Barakat Timbers Limited Charity Pomeroon River Guyana

Dear Mr. CEO,

Creekside Windsor Forest Guyana 01 January 2011

Although this letter is addressed to Barakat Timbers, I am writing to anyone who is willing to listen. You humans constantly rave about your World Wars and civil unrests, but what of ours? From the beginning we have been murdered, but we were not greatly angered for we understood your necessity. Now you don’t just take what you need, but damage our habitats to such an extent that we shall never again thrive in the same location. You heartless beasts who claim superiority yet cannot live in peace as we do? I am a Great Oak in the Windsor Forest of Guyana and I say stop! Not even for my species’ sake, but for yours. Do you not see how integral we are for the survival of your kind?

Global Warming is a ubiquitous crisis of this era which stems from several causes. The burning of fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gases, which are by definition gases that trap heat in the atmosphere, has been one of the greatest detrimental factors of global warming. The gases cause an increase in Earth’s temperature, damaging the ozone which is the most important layer of atmosphere involved in the protection of life on Earth. It shields you from the true brunt of the sun’s rays, absorbing a colossal 97-99% of harmful ultraviolet rays. Greenhouse gases are emitted as a by-product of burning fossil fuels such as coal and crude oil. To ignore this situation is to leave you vulnerable.

Other than with the few exceptions of phytoplankton and chemosynthetic organisms, plants are situated in the first thropic level of all food chains. All energy is obtained from the sun by humans indirectly and the only way to gain some of that energy other than from the miniscule part played by the other autotrophic organisms is from plants. Why? Plants use sunlight energy, water and carbon dioxide gas to create energy to sustain ourselves and to grow and develop. Humans cannot obtain energy in this way and neither can any other mammals; therefore you gain this energy indirectly by eating plants whether by eating the plant itself or an animal somewhere in the food chain through which the energy flows. To leave us vulnerable or to decimate us is suicidal.

Erosion is becoming a major concern on Earth. Frequent mudslides and avalanches destroying towns, taking lives and no-one would believe if I told them the answer. Go simply au natural. When walking past a Great Oak such as I you usually marvel at my height and circumference. Rarely does someone think of what is growing below my torso. I too have legs, though I prefer not to walk. Call it laziness; I see it as an investment in prime real estate. Working along with other materials, roots play a big part in keeping soil compact. When speaking of soil humans are very ignorant of its layers. As topsoil is removed, subsoil is exposed and erosion occurs. Subsoil does not easily support agriculture, flooding occurs more readily and in short, life on Earth increases in hardship. Once again I offer you a simple solution. Let nature do her job.

Many who read this will not take heed. But a word to the wise is enough, so for anyone who should be interested I may offer some suggestions to aid in the continuation of your species. Take a look at Beijing, China. Look at the fog that surrounds the city and realize that you are on the same path. You may not see it now, a bit like getting taller. You don’t realize it has happened unless you measure your height constantly or until there is such a difference that it is impossible not to have recognized it. Will you only stop when it is too late? Reduce the use of products made in factories that produce greenhouse gases. Don’t drive a half-mile to the supermarket for a box of milk. Take a nice walk through the refreshing air we recycle and provide for you. It’s therapeutic and healthy. Use reusable plastics. Plant more trees around your homes. In this age of technology use your electronics and less paper. But there will be those who will pay me no mind and I say to you in the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins ‘And for all this nature is never spent’. The sun will continue to rise in the East and set in the West, but should you continue on this hell-bent path you will cease to be. As you take this suicidal walk take note that I will never be conquered and shall rise as you fall.

Yours Sincerely, Woody Branche

Read about the UN Contest and next year’s contest here.

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