Barbados Government Dumping RAMSAR Commitment?

Is the Government of Barbados Intending To Back Out Of RAMSAR Treaty?

One of our readers posted this comment at the BFP article Graeme Hall National Park – Watershed Management Plan

At the meeting of Concerned Residents prior to the Town Hall meeting at Christchurch parich hall, a member of the audience who appeared to be directly concerned with the Nature Sanctuary observed that, as Barbados was a signatory to RAMSAR, it could not back out of its commitment to protect the Graeme Hall watershed. In response a speaker on the podium, possibly Mr Paul, pointed out that although Barbados had signed its intention to be committed to RAMSAR, this had never been followed up with implementing legislation.

This means that it was not technically committed to the pact. In other words, the government of Barbados was not under any obligation to protect the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and its surrounding ecosystem. This hypocrisy seems to have been forgotten among all the other hot issues raised about Caribbean Splash Inc. It is time it was revived to see whether Barbados will honour its declared intention or back out.

Another BFP reader contributes the following (link here)…

Vol. 17 No. 20
Thursday, 10 November 2005



Noting that few Caribbean countries are currently Parties to the Ramsar Convention, BARBADOS expressed its intention to become a Contracting Party in the near future.

A list of current parties to Ramsar is shown HERE

Barbados is NOT on the list.

The following URL is from the Nation article on 18 December 2005 wherein Minister of the Environment, Elizabeth Thompson, indicated the governments intentions as of that moment in time. (Link Here)

This URL for the Coastal Zone Management Unit indicates the same. (Link Here)

Does anyone have more current information?


Filed under Barbados, Environment, Politics & Corruption

2 responses to “Barbados Government Dumping RAMSAR Commitment?

  1. It is a shame no one has up-to-date news as to whether Barbados has signed the RAMSAR treaty yet, or not.

    But I think we can safely take it that if Government had ratified membership with the appropriate legislation we would certainly know about it.

    Liz Thompson, as Minister of the Environment, should be asked in Partiament why Barbados is in the position of being a blatant HYPOCRITE in the eyes of the world. This is a shameful disgrace to the People of Barbados.

    She may say “We haven’t got around to it yet” or some such stupid blather, but it is not incompetence, it is deliberate deceit to leave the option open not to protect the Nature Sanctuary, should it so suit them.

    Barbados must ratify the RAMSAR convention without further shillyshallying.

  2. Surely it is worth seeing what was actually said back in December 2005 about the Nature Sanctuary and RAMSAR:

    “Should everything go according to plan by the Ministry of Housing, Land and the Environment, the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary WOULD BE the first wetland in Barbados to be recognised under the International RAMSAR Convention.

    Minister of Environment, Elizabeth Thompson, made this statement at the official opening of Santa’s Sanctuary of Lights, Thursday (Dec. 16, 2005) at Graeme Hall.

    She said BARBADOS WAS A SIGNATORY COUNTRY TO THE CONVENTION, and under its rules of procedure the nature sanctuary COULD be protected in diverse ways.


    “In that way, it would lead to much better recognition and management of the swamp, so people can understand the ecological value, and we would create a PLAN which would allow it to be properly managed, enjoyed and used,” she said.

    (As if Government could do a better job than is now done!)

    Are we to take it that these were the usual political half truths and deceits which we are fed every day?

    When ministers of Government cannot be taken at their word, the nation is in desperate straits!