Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Press Release

GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY, INC.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Bridgetown, Barbados
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Contact:                Harry Roberts, General Manager
Telephone:            (246)  426-3610
Email:                    hroberts@graemehall.com
Photos and Archives: http://www.graemehall.com/press.htm

Massive Turnout at Graeme Hall

No Solution Yet for Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

Massive attendance at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary stopped traffic once again in Worthing on Monday, forcing Sanctuary staff to help facilitate traffic in and out of the Sanctuary’s entrance.

“We estimate 9,500 people passed through the gates on Monday,” said Harry Roberts, General Manager of the Sanctuary.

“Hundreds of people kept telling us that they want to see the Sanctuary stay open, and that they want the surrounding lands up to the ABC Highway reserved for open green space, and that this was their way of showing their support.”

“Frankly, we were completely shocked at the how many people came yesterday, because 8,000 people had already visited during our open day last month on November 9,” said Roberts.

Sanctuary staff scrambled to accommodate people who wanted to see the park one last time before the scheduled closing on December 15.

As of this past weekend, Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary confirmed that he had not received any substantive solutions or proposals from government in regard to preservation of the Sanctuary and its upland buffers to the ABC Highway in perpetuity, but acknowledged that he had heard that government officials were discussing the matter internally.     Allard reiterated that he continues to be available to discuss progressive good faith solutions to create a new park within the approximately 240 acre environmental and recreational green space at Graeme Hall, inclusive of the Sanctuary and public and private lands within the RAMSAR wetland, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture complex and surrounding uplands.

This Graeme Hall green space is the last significant area available for parkland between the Airport and Bridgetown.

“We have no confirmation yet that government will preserve the buffer lands up to the ABC Highway as open space,” said Allard.   “We believe strongly that the environmental health of the RAMSAR site and the Sanctuary is absolutely dependent on the uplands being preserved as open space.”

The Sanctuary is scheduled to close on December 15, 2008 after an investment of US$35 million over the past 14 years.

More information about the Sanctuary and the proposed Graeme Hall National Park can be found at…

www.graemehall.com/press.htm and     http://www.graemehallnationalpark.org

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary Press Release

  1. TTH

    When will Bajans say enough is enough and stop these foreigners coming to Barbados to get just what they want and when the fail they try to destroy our island through dishonest commentary?

    Peter Allard has financed this BFP web-site for a long time with all kinds of lies and distortions against innocent Barbadians. He wanted to get his hands on prime real estate at Kingsland and on the beachand when he didn’t get it, he threw a petulant tantrum and used his father’s ill-gotten gain to try to destroy our country’s name.

    I hope that my Prime Minister David Thompson will do the right thing as he did with the East Coast, Batts Rock and other areas and preserve Greame Hall. He is a sensible humane man who I have grown to like very much though I have never met him. He has saved Barbados from the previous bunch of political miscreants.

    By the way, how come Allard doesn’t know that the last set of condos built in that area were built by the same Mis Mottley and Dean Straker? Since when does a visit by Ms. Mottley make her such a dralng?

    The Prime Minister should acquire Greame Hall for the government and people of Barbados not to be used as a pawn for a sickening display of expatriate arrogance.

    Allard is a morally challenged man who cannot hold our country to ransom. I hope that our government develops a careful screening process against these hypocritical gay expatriates.

  2. The Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is a truly amazing place that should be protected by the Government right now. It should be preserved for the citizens of Barbados and not turned into more houses for the rich.

  3. Duppy Lizard

    TTH – Name one thing, just one thing that Barbadians have created of equal value. Zilch, zippo, nada. Barbadians have neither the vison or money – or most important the inclination to enhance the quality of life.

  4. Barbados the Beautiful

    It is negatives and complainers like TTH that will be the ruin of this country.

    TTH why would you disrespect a good man like Mr. Allard who could choose anywhere to spend his money but wants to help us? What is your problem are you maybe one of those who want to take over the lands at Graeme Hall and build ups for your profit- sorry we not with you because we want to save this for everyone.

    Meanwhile the Prime Minister begging for philanthropists to come here and help out. We got one name of Allard and we mistreating him so how is that looking?

  5. crossroads

    This is so puzzling. Last I heard was that the Government Lines were open for communication, yet the DLP seem to be silent on the matter. Here again we hear Mr Allard is waiting on the gov. What the hell is going on? It really is tiring, so SHUT DOWN the park and allow it to be vandalized. Shame, Oh what shame!!

  6. akabozik

    Allard wants to GIVE the land to Barbados as long as it is protected for all time and the only way to do that is with a National Park.

    Allard tried to GIVE a multi-million dollar AIDS & Cancer Hospice to Barbados and the government didn’t want that either.

    Because there was no JUICE for the politicians in the clinic.

  7. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Another white man do this white man do that claim. I really do not understand what part of a 35 million -dollar -free- of- text- payers- money do some members of the Barbdos populace do not understand. What ever the motives of Mr. Allard maybe, he has invested in Barbados and by all intent and purposes seems bent on investing more. To tell you the truth, I would like to see the complete preservation of that stretch of Green from the Ministry of Agriculture right back to the Swamp, preserved and develop as a national park for all time. Gosh I long for the days where I can just walk through the Graemehall National Park on a few 100 meters of some man made paved track, looking at grass, trees, birds with just a wee touch, just a tiny bit of man’s influence that says “this beautiful green and wet land has been preserved and enhanced and expand the natural beauty a bit more in order that sceneries would capture the imagination and awe of eyes looking on , for all Barbadians, returning nationals and visitors to our wonderful shores, for all time.’

    The truth is the Graemehall sanctuary has offered a natural piece of green scenery and wet land that provides a place for quite relaxation and peaceful serenity.

    The idea consumes me when I think that further development of this area could introduce a bikers path for riding around the acres with friends and family on a Suday morning in an ambience of shaded trees and nice cool breezes.

    I really want the area to be completely develop into a national Green Park and not for building investments that will destroy its naturalness and privatise its openess only to the famous, those with money and those who got draw backs from their crooked deals. I hope the government would do the right thing on this one. Too many eyes looking on and too many people are losing faith in our politicians amidst the allegations and obvious proofs of wide spread corruption and collusions. Mr. Thompson, my most respected Prime Minister, you are in a position to make the difference. Please do the right thing and show Barbados and the world looking on, that your leadership is far above the list of undesirables.

  8. My story is up with new details

  9. Voice of reason

    Because the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is not a profitable venture suddenly the Government (we) must take it over? No way. Let Mr Allard find an alternative use for the land. I suggest a golf course!

    *******************

    BFP says,

    A nature sanctuary and National Park will never be “profitable” and that is never the intent with these types of projects. If Allard was the type to build a golf course and condos he could make a hundred million easy… which is what those who want the land intend.

    Of course, if you, “voice of reason” want real profits, then let’s make the sanctuary into a house of prostitution and get some casinos in there too. If money is the only goal in life, I’m sure that you’d be happy to volunteer your daughter or your sister to work there. After all, money and profits are the most important thing, right?

  10. bob

    TTH are you retarded?

  11. Fool me once

    DLP falling down drunk or dead on the job.

    Something simple like yes to agreeing to talk about a national park something they cannot do how they goin to do the hard things?

  12. Wuh?

    Bajans: Don’t be naive. Nothing is free. Mr. Allard has conditions for giving… Barbados will have to change its physical development plan, compensate the owners in the buffer zone and all of those who already have any kind of planning permissions!

    Sometimes things that seem simple can be very complicated.

    As to the question posed by some degenerate as to what Barbadians have created: Harrison’s Cave – the number one tourism attraction in Barbados! Created before Allard could even spell Barbados and that is the truth!

  13. Wuhnot

    Wuh, you have a short memory. The buffer zone and rest of the lands at Graeme Hall were protected as a natural area right up until government decided to let a land grab attempt go through at Graeme Hall. How did this happen? Easy. Town planner decided to water down the PDP of the 1980’s with an “urban corridor” along ABC Highway, up the hill from the lower ag lands at Graeme Hall.

    Another thing you didn’t mention is that Clico is a major land owner in the western swamp which is now protected under the RAMSAR agreement. Are you suggesting they have some sort of planning permission in place for this land?

    Besides Clico, the Sanctuary and the government of Barbados, are there some other owners in the buffer lands that we don’t know about Mr. Wuh?

  14. Lili

    I don’t know too much about what is going on, so I may be wrong, I frequently am (to quote Smokey) and we the public on the outside never know everything that is going on, but surely the DLP Government has been extremely silent on this issue.

    I don’t know who the goodie or the baddie really is, but isn’t it to our advantage to save the Graeme Hall Park????

    Why doesn’t David Thompson at least have something to say??

    The government’s silence is suspicious to me and others.

    Is it true then that they really want to have hotels, etc built on this land and corn some coppers??

    Huh!! Well Baje, you did say you wanted change, didn’t you, and the DLP was touting honesty, integrity, etc. Yeah right!!!! The only good politician is a dead one. Look up dishonest, thief and you see a politician.

  15. Anonymous

    If Graeme Hall Sancturay is financially non-viable, then so be it.

    Close the doors, send home de ppl and free-up de birds in de cages.

    Let the swamp return to being a natural swamp.
    and leave it alone for Nature to take its natural course without any man made interference from Allard or anyone else.

    NO-one can run it better than Mother Nature

  16. GHNS

    The Sanctuary has been moving toward “economic sustainability” every year – this past year it improved by a factor of 27%.

    But to think that the closure is simply about conventional economics is simplistic. The bottom line is that the Sanctuary’s natural legacy will not survive if the RAMSAR site is not buffered properly, and if government environmental leadership does not substantially manifest within the area.

    The major issue is the fact that the Sanctuary cannot survive current land use and environmental management policies, and something has to be done. The entire RAMSAR wetland is at risk, not just the Sanctuary.

    Economic sustainability can’t happen without solid environmental stewardship. The only thing the Sanctuary has to sell is the environment – what happens if the water is poisoned and the fish and the mangroves die?

    It’s the same as if a restaurant sold tainted meals. Nobody would show up, and then people would be talking about the public health, certainly not about “economic sustainability.”

    Contrary to what Anonymous says, it is impossible for the wetland to return to being a “natural swamp.” There are thousands of cubic feet of polluted stormwater flowing into the ecosystem, all natural estuarine flows and interactions with the sea have been effectively stopped, and unless there is a concerted effort to take seriously the cleansing role of the upland buffers, and begin a sophisticated government-led programme of environmental remediation, the wetland is doomed.

    The Sanctuary can’t control or manage upstream pollution. Neither can a private individual. It takes government leadership.

    In this particular example, the kicker is that under Barbados’ Marine Pollution Act the Sanctuary is technically liable for all polluted waters that leave its boundaries, even though the Sanctuary is not the sourcepoint for the pollution. Has there been any formal or tacit acknowledgement from government of this legal dilemma? No.

    This example alone is bigger than one man can handle.

    Can all this be fixed? Yes. Not perfectly, but it can be improved tremendously so that it works for all stakeholders – government, the people of Barbados, the Sanctuary, everyone. Within government there are already preliminary environmental plans that are an outgrowth of past scientific studies, and there are some amazing technical people hidden in the bureaucracy who are highly professional and know what to do.

    Let’s hope they are given the power to do the right thing.

  17. yatinkiteasy

    TTH, your homophobic anti foreigner statements disqualify you as a serious contributor to this debate.
    If there are reasons for the Government NOT to agree to make the place a National Park, then the Prime Minister should make these reasons known…transparency comes to mind in this situation.

  18. permres

    Thank you, yatinkiteasy. We are all waiting for a statement from the government.

  19. akabozik

    Anonymous say “If Graeme Hall Sancturay is financially non-viable, then so be it. Close the doors…”

    Well, if that is the criteria for what we keep and don’t on this island, close up the library. Close up the schools. Close the government owned hotels that suck so much money. Close UWI. Close everything that doesn’t make a profit.

    Or does anonymous believe that his “must make a profit” ideas are for only the nature sanctuary?

  20. Hants

    Government should pay Mr.Allard the $24million he is asking.

    Keep the Sanctuary operating as a Tourist attraction.

    Legislate the Graeme Hall Swamp as a protected wetland and create a National park after the recession.

  21. st. michael

    If it could be so easy hants. Allard says he has $35 million US in it, anything less was charity. There is the matter of the US $500 plus million valuation for all the graeme hall lands combined. Government has a problem.