Graeme Hall National Park or… Condos & Quick Cash
For about the last ten years there has been a serious movement by Barbadians to preserve the last mangrove wetlands on the island. The Graeme Hall Wetlands are a national treasure and vital to the environmental health of the south coast, but selfish interests want to build on these wetlands for profit.
These evil people would have ordinary Bajans see tall concrete towers instead of trees. They would rather have gated enclaves for the rich where our children now learn about their connection to the natural world around them. Pavement instead of a quiet sanctuary where ordinary folks can enjoy a respite. Commercial and residential developments like the rest of the South and West coasts.
In a cash grab that put their own pockets ahead of the common good, the last bunch of greedy pigs known as the BLP Owen Arthur Government approved the construction of the Caribbean Splash Water Park/Theme Park on the Graeme Hall Wetlands. Only when thousands of Bajans rose up and signed petitions, wrote letters and stopped Members of Parliament on the street to give them “a piece of wat-for” did the BLP government back down.
Preserving The Graeme Hall Wetlands Isn’t Just About Natural Beauty… Beauty Is Only A Small Part Of The Value That Belongs To All Bajans
If preserving the Graeme Hall Wetlands was only about preserving some green space on the south coast for beauty – preservation would still be a wise decision. But beauty is only a starting point because natural areas contribute so much to Barbados in very tangible ways.
A few months ago the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary published a report by Dr. Allan N. Williams that assessed the value of the wetlands to Barbados.
I didn’t read the study. I didn’t pay attention.
I should have.
I watched the new Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary video (really excellent – you must watch it… link here) but I didn’t read the report of the valuation of the wetlands or I would have immediately written about it.
You see, after reading the report I am convinced that the Graeme Hall Wetlands area is worth every bit of the half a billion US dollars as concluded by Dr. Williams.
More than ever, I am convinced that the wetlands must be permanently protected for the future and that the only sure way of doing that is to create a Graeme Hall National Park.
Unlike the past government, Prime Minister Thompson has made positive statements about the necessity of preserving the Graeme Hall Wetlands. Various ministers have also made statements that sound like they are sincere in their desire to preserve the natural environment of Barbados.
But as we said a few months ago…
From what I saw in that Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary video,…
If we want this last bit of green on the south coast to be around in five years, the government had better do something besides talk and it better happen soon.
Excerpts From The Graeme Hall Wetlands Valuation
“Our analysis identifies 12 valuable functions of the wetlands at Graeme Hall. These include, Habitat, Refuge; Regulating Hydrological Flows; Storage and retention of water; Hosting unique biological material; Capacitance and absorption of pollutants; Removal or breakdown of excess compounds; Maintaining ecological characteristics of the landscape; Monitoring coastal zone changes; Impacting local community quality of life; Providing cultural attraction and Being a repository of scientific information.”
“The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary (GHNS) is a privately owned property whose primary mission is the conservation of the Wetlands of Graeme Hall. There are many features of this Wetlands that are worthy of conserving. These include being the last remaining mangrove forest of its kind in Barbados, a major roosting area for migratory and native water-birds, a “living laboratory” for researchers and scientists to examine native Barbados ecosystems and an opportunity to understand how changes in human population and the built environment in Barbados have influenced issues relating to aquifer and surface water management, drained wetlands, wetland recreation, coastal zone management, urban sprawl and agriculture.
Of more importance are the under-valued linkages between the ecological characteristic of the Graeme Hall Wetlands and its multiple roles in sustaining tourism activities in the south west coast; supporting the quality of life and maintaining open green spaces and lower population density in the Parish of Christ Church; and avoiding a major catastrophe of sewage contamination of the beaches and coastal zone of the most important location of stay-over accommodations in Barbados. To achieve such an understanding, this study has pursued a goal of assessing the value of this nature asset that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary seeks to conserve.”
Will Barbados Sacrifice The Last Remaining South Coast Green Space & A Vital Environmental Asset For Private Interests’ Greed?
Read the Graeme Hall Wetlands Valuation Report…
Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary press section link here