Kiss Graeme Hall National Park and Nature Sanctuary Goodbye – Developers Circle For The Kill

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Graeme Hall Wetlands To Be Developed By DLP Campaign Funder CLICO & Leroy Paris

Last night, we received the following press release from the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary…

No Word on the Future of Graeme Hall

An official at Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary confirmed Monday that there was still no agreement with the Government of Barbados to negotiate the means to transfer the Sanctuary and create the 240-acre National Park at Graeme Hall.

“I have been available to them, but have not heard or received any indication of what they (government) will do,” said Stuart Heaslet who represents Peter Allard, owner of the Sanctuary.

In the last two months Heaslet has made two trips to Barbados from his home in Oregon in an attempt to reach a formal agreement to negotiate with government, but with no success.

Employees who were laid off in mid December will be formally severed from the Sanctuary in early March if no agreement is reached to re-open the nature facility.

The Sanctuary closed on December 15th last year, after years of providing educational and environmental programmes to tens of thousands of children and adults.  A small maintenance and security staff is now maintaining the bird aviaries and providing minimal ecosystem services at the Sanctuary.

In 2007 over 6,000 Barbadians signed a Friends of Graeme Hall petition in favor of preserving the approximately 240-acre green area at Graeme Hall in accordance with the 1988 Barbados National Physical Development Plan.   This would protect  its RAMSAR wetland and wildlife reserve with low-density open and recreational upland buffers.

Much of the information needed by government to develop a “Master Action Plan” for creating the 240-acre Graeme Hall National Park has already been produced and consolidated by Coastal Zone Management Unit staff.

More information can be found at www.graemehall.com/press.htm and www.graemehallnationalpark.org .

The More Things Change…

We find it so interesting that Prime Minister David Thompson inserted himself into the LIME – Cable & Wireless mess to try and save 130 call center jobs… not to mention the gift of almost $20 million for his rich horse-racing friends at the Barbados Turf Club.

But with 85 to 100 direct jobs gone at the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary and that last major green space on the south about to slide away into development by CLICO and other land owners in the watershed, the government hasn’t bothered to lift a finger. And even worse, the DLP government approved the BLP’s “Development Corridors” within the Graeme Hall watershed. Why do you think that is?

Notice the careful wording of the press release… it seems to us like the Barbados Government has Mr. Allard on “ignore” as they watch yet another abused foreign investor make his exit – much wiser into the ways of Barbados where the rule of law is whatever the government elites and their ex-Attorney-General-and-Master-Politician-turned-Chief-Justice say it is at any given moment.

Meanwhile, the greedy developers and their shiftless political friends are licking their chops at the thought of developing the Graeme Hall watershed.

… The More That Things Stay The Same!

Philanthropist Peter Allard had volunteered to give the majority of the nature sanctuary lands to the people of Barbados if the government would finally declare the National Park at Graeme Hall so the wetlands and mangrove forest would be protected for future generations. Two successive Prime Ministers and their governments wouldn’t give Peter Allard the time of day because his generous offer made it difficult for certain folks to profit from public lands.

What about that Integrity and Transparency Legislation that was supposed to be in declared within 100 days of the DLP being elected? What about those Ministerial Conflict of Interest rules that were supposed to be put in place “immediately” upon the DLP forming the government?

What about all those rules that were supposed to make it illegal for elected and appointed government officials to profit from their insider knowledge and authority? The rules that would have made it illegal for government officials to receive “gifts” from land developers?

Give your head a shake, friend…

Same old, same old ’bout hey.

40 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Environment

40 responses to “Kiss Graeme Hall National Park and Nature Sanctuary Goodbye – Developers Circle For The Kill

  1. Stephen

    Talking about it is good; so what are we going to do about it to take it to the next stage? Presumably government reads this blog, so …

  2. HOODWINKED

    There needs to be a public demonstration about this. There are several people (organizations) who could spear-head this. A demonstration would be well supported by the public and is the best way to let the government know how we feel.

  3. Wuh?

    I heard through the grapevine that David Thompson waived the Property Transfer Tax for Allard’s purchase – a purchase made years ago and a waiver that Owen Arthur refused! Is that true?

    You Graeme Hall guys are a pretty ungrateful bunch though. Always pretending to be so upright and yet asking for a tax waiver – a tax that all Bajans have to pay. In the interest of transparency BFP, what say ye?

    David Thompson waived the tax and you still abuse him, distort the truth and lie. What do you really want? The whole of Kingsland? Is that what this is really all about?

    BFP, you make Hitler and Goebels sound like school children.

  4. Margaret Knight

    At first, when I read this, I nearly had a heart attack. However, after making a phone call, I can now say that time alone will tell if this is a scandalous mischief-making lie, or if there is a smattering of truth contained somewhere in the wording of the article. It is my opinion that the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is NOT dead and will survive. I rest my case.

  5. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    Rest assured people, there will be no concrete jungle replacing the natural green at Graemehall. The matter will be resolved amicably but I suggest the fire remain heated under the Government’s butt, lest we be hoodwinked and hunged for complacency.

  6. Duh!

    The Special Area Development Act passed in 2001 provided waiver of property purchase tax for a whole number of properties.

    Graeme Hall was just one of a number.

    Owen wouldn’t give it to Graeme Hall when finally asked for it and Thompson is just authorizing what it is entitled to.

    This business delay in finalizing every day approved tranactions, similar to what hapens with VAT refunds is the reason why investors are very leary with Barbados as a country to do business in.

  7. I hope Magaret Knight is right.
    Either way…..don’t let this topic rest, make enough noise !

  8. iWatchya

    There should be no further development of this green corridor.

    Remember when they used to pump raw sewage into the swamp?

    We have come a long way from those times and the Graeme Hall has recovered. Lets not destroy what we have left of it!!!

  9. Royalrumble

    Come on fellow bloggers you must know that things at Clico are going to get worse in a couple of days and this will fully absorb the attention of Thompson.

    The PM must now do everything to save his lover boy so that they can continue their private jet escapades so everything else will have to go on the back burner.

    This Nature Care thing is not as important as securing Parris’ job. So relax when Thompson is finish he will deal with it.

  10. Mathilde

    if Graeme Hall goes concrete I am leaving this island for good. It wont be long before they start ruining the East Coast too. If I got to live in concrete jungle at least let it be one where food doesnt cost more than rent..
    What the hell, is this a Democracy or not? do we really have absolutely NO say in what happens in this island?? Please say it aint so!!!

  11. Nostradamus

    Dear Wuh?,

    When local or foreign investors or for that matter citizens are treated badly by the government bureaucracy (political or civil service) either through spite, indifference, laziness, incompetence etc etc it has consequences for all of us.

    Below is a highlight taken from the World Bank “Business Environment Snapshots”

    “According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2006-07, the three most problematic factors for doing business are poor work ethic of the national labor force, inefficient government bureaucracy, and tax rates.”

    http://rru.worldbank.org/BESnapshots/Barbados/default.aspx

    Tell us Wuh?, did Owen Arthur refuse the Property Transfer Tax waiver? If so, why?

  12. Optimist Prime

    Why is the DLP so reluctant to place the Resolution, tabled by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley – which calls on Government to purchase the Graeme Hall Nature Santuary for the patrimony of Barbadians – on the Order Paper of Parliament?

    Imagine! Thompson was “lightning quick” with a stimulus package for his friend Parrish, but snail’s-paste on Graeme Hall, which is important to thousands of Barbadians.

    Only if Graeme Hall had a private jet?

  13. P

    The same way members of the Union demonstrate, I think we should Rally together and protest against a total concrete jungle!! Sure!!it belongs to the government, but we as bajans should have a say..it is a beautiful place and they want to destroy it…$20 million for the rich and famous..and we yard fowls are supposed to keep quiet!! JOKE ..Bajans, we will not keep quiet…they may only have one term!!! I do have to put my X somewhere!!

  14. Hants

    The entire 240 acres of Graeme Hall should remain swampland.

    The sluice gate should be properly maintained.

    And when de Hurricane come ……..

  15. Optimist Prime

    Resolution on the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary

    Whereas the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary is a 35 acre property within the Graeme Hall Swamp as a Barbados National Environmental Heritage site;

    And whereas the said Sanctuary is part of an endangered Lesser Antilles Mangrove ecosystem with its brackish waters fed by springs and runoffs within the 1156 acre Graeme Hall watershed;

    And whereas the Sanctuary is the last significant mangrove woodland and the largest inland water body in Barbados and one of only three primary roost areas and the longest-established heron roost area in Barbados;

    And whereas the Sanctuary is home to the widest diversity of resident and migratory birds with at least 84 birds species having been recorded;

    And whereas the Sanctuary also provides an environment that seeks to educate all of its visitors and can enhance the knowledge of all Barbadians, especially our school children;

    And whereas in 2007, the Barbados Labour Party initiated an Innovative Plan Green Economy Initiative in Barbados, which was intended to address issues such as energy conservation, noise reduction and clean air promotion, ecosystems (or environmental infrastructure); clean and efficient technology; renewable energy; biodiversity-based products and services (such as organic foods); chemical and waste management and mitigation technologies as well as green communities with ecologically friendly buildings, construction, and transport systems;

    And whereas the Green Economy Initiative formulated by the BLP Administration – makes recommendations for greening Barbados; creating new green jobs, and was intended to move the Barbados economy to a green economy for enterprises,

    BE IT RESOLVED that this Parliament calls upon the Government of Barbados to acquire the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary to avert its closure and to ensure that it remains open for the benefit of all Barbadians, for the benefit of our fragile environment and for the patrimony of this country.

  16. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    The Prime Minister will not insult Barbadians by doing something he knows would be a detriment to his political career. Graemehall will stay and it will be purchase by the crown. I am confident that not an acre will be touched.

  17. Royalrumble

    I was just listening to the debate on a money resolution for tourism and I heard the Minister, Sealy said that Peaches and Quiet is boosting of 100% occupancy. He said that to suggest that hotels in Barbados are ok with their bookings for the up coming season.

    What folly am I hearing? Peaches and Quite is an Inn. It is a place where couples go when they want to play. This demonstrates that this Government and the Minister of Tourism is completely ignorant as to what is required to manage this Industry.

  18. Sargeant

    Didn’t BFP have several articles about the fate of GHNS? Didn’t these articles indicate that Allard had tried to contact the Arthur led Gov’t several times about the fate of GHNS without success? In fact I remember the articles stated that neither Arthur nor any of his Ministers even bothered to respond.

    Now all the BLP surrogates are tree huggers and swamp lovers, everyone has a solution no concrete in GHNS, concrete in every other nook and cranny but no concrete in GHNS.

    For once it would be good if all the politicians would put their heads together and resolve this issue instead of playing petty politics.

    But I’m a dreamer.

  19. Barbados the Beautiful

    The national park would benefit from a donation of the lands Clico owns in Graeme Hall. Maybe that would be a thank you for the ten million which Barbados just gave Clico to help out. And probably more money we are not hearing about.

    Mr. Allard, a foreigner, pays US$35 million to make his contribution by building the nature sanctuary now Mr. Parris and his company, locals who desparately need country’s help should do its part.

  20. Green

    both parties have failed the people of Barbados miserably.

    Maybe the next gathering at Graeme Hall can become a ralyling point for a new Green party which truly believes in real environmental protection and real ITAL?

    SAVE BARBADOS

  21. Margaret Knight

    I would be interested in hearing from all those persons who own land/homes in and around, butting and abounding (the legal terminology sometimes rubs off!) Graeme Hall. Why are they keeping quiet? Are they waiting for the Government to come charging along, riding roughshod over them and compulsorily acquiring their land? I think they know better than that. Why don’t they come forward and tell us all that they have no intention of giving up their land for a National park? It appears to me (just a lay-person) that this is the bone of contention, and that the Nature Sanctuary itself WILL remain intact. Perhaps someone who has information will come forward and throw some light on the matter, instead of indulging in pure scare tactics.

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

    BFP says,

    But Margaret, it is the government itself that is the main threat to the watershed, not the few folks who have lands on and around it. You see, the government would love to take some of that land and turn it into cash from developers. That was the reason behind the Arthur government’s waterpark folly. Also it is not unknown for government officials to end up living on land that is acquired by the government for “public uses”. Unless that land is declared a National Park (even without the private lands), some future government will develop it for the money. So if Barbados doesn’t provide those assurances to its people, the whole thing could go someday. The owner of the sanctuary is unwilling to continue to support something that the government may be tempted to turn into cash someday.

  22. supporter of Graeme Hall National Park

    Margaret

    there are only three major land owners in the proposed National Park of 240 acres

    1) BADMC for the government
    2) Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary 35 acres more or less
    3) Clico 9-10 acres

    I can’t imagine a homeowner or landowner not wanting a park beside their property. This improves the value of their lands.

    It is all of the citizens of the South Coast and Barbados as a whole who should want a green space for future generations who should be making their voices heard to government.

  23. Margaret Knight

    Supporter of Graeme Hall National Park:
    Thank you for that information.

  24. Hants

    Graeme Hall is a swamp and will continue to be a swamp.

    The Nature Sanctuary should be bought by Government but they will need to spend a few million to make it more hurricane resistant.

    The Sanctuary will become a loss leader Tourism project since it is not likely a profit making venture.

    BADMC should use their land for environmentally sensitive Organic farming.

    Government should buy Clico’s land as well.

    Then we can have 240 acres of Swampland preserved for the environmental health of Barbados.

  25. Optimist Prime

    It is the poor judgment and bad decisions of David Thompson, which has resulted in a dangerous mismanagement of the Barbados economy.

    We are now seeing “governance by delay” and a “clueless” DLP government, which does not know what it is doing – trying to hide its intellectual weakness and political incompetence – by pointing to the global financial crisis and the alleged “mess” it had to clean up, as the explanation for the drift in Barbados.

    But, what are the facts:

    1. Instead of settling down and doing work, DLP Ministers were busy last year touring, attending school sports or engaging in frequent travel overseas, in some instances, with three Ministers and three different delegations, attending the same Conference.

    2. But the drift really started when the DLP, which had stated that it will give maximum priority to a tightly managed debt accumulation strategy targeted at the reduction of in both domestic and foreign components of the national debt, and that it will also give priority to achieving and maintaining a balance budget while allowing for small manageable fiscal deficits – tabled the 2008 Estimate, in which it slashed government’s capital works programme, which immediately sent a negative signal to potential investors and triggered the melt-down.

    3. Mr. Thompson then increased the price of petroleum products as follows: Diesel by 77 per cent; gasoline by 24 per cent, kerosene by 10 per cent and bottle gas by 30 per cent. That resulted in jobs being threatened as well as an increase in the same cost of living, he and the DLP promised to reduce.

    4. Mr. Thompson then introduced an inflationary budget, in which he sought to raise an additional $180 million in new taxes.

    That has nothing to do with the fact that in the Estimates he presented in March 2008, his government projected to earn $108 million more in financial year 2009-2008 than it did the year before.

    In circumstances where economic growth was projected to be negligible, he could only earn that amount in VAT, if there was rising prices.

    5. The DLP continues to price gouge Barbadians on land tax and petroleum products. For example, even though the price of a barrel of oil on the world market is significantly cheaper today than when we left office, Barbadians are paying more for diesel at the pump.

    6. As a result of unmatched economic management, despite a massive and unprecedented programme of tax relief in financial year 2006, the then BLP government was still able to run a deficit of 1.9 per cent, which was well within the target and about 2.7 percentage points lower than that for 2005.

    In just three months in office in 2008, Prime Minister Thompson ran a deficit of 4.5 per cent, and still was able to place over three thousand people on the bread-line.

    7. Having criticised the size of the “national debt” when he was in opposition, Prime Minister Thompson amended the Local Loans and the Special Loans Act, so that his government could add a further one billion, five hundred million to the same national debt, he said was too high.

    8. As evidence of his poor decisions and bad judgement, since December 2008, there has been a document from the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Authority (BHTA) on the desk of Finance Minister David Thompson – waiting for his attention.

    In contrast, within 24 hours – he was able to provide Clico with a $10 million “line of credit,” or a $10 million “private stimulus package.”

    The Prime Minister of Barbados is now trying desperately to convince Barbadians that even though the parent company in Trinidad is in trouble, that has no implications for Clico’s operations in this country, because ClicoBarbados is sound and well-run.

    Sound and well managed, yet his “squeaky clean” government gives Clico $10 million of the taxpayers money, without any conditions.

    The trademark David Thompson’ – poor judgment and bad decisions, continues.

  26. Nostradamus

    Hants,

    “BADMC should use their land for environmentally sensitive Organic farming”

    Unfortunately the Physical Development Plan 2003 (amended) has changed the use and classification of the BADMC lands from agriculture and open and recreational to urban development.

    So you can say goodbye to organic farming. The only thing that will be growing there will be concrete. Since election to office (over 1 year) not a word from the DLP as to whether they will let this change in classification stand.

  27. Well, iffin I had money, me for one would not be building on no swamp, for five years down de road, de house to start sinking into de ground and lawdee, wuhloss, like me wud got a basement instead of a bungalow!

    Swamp fuh swampees, deng.

    Although, somma dem so dat sniff bout for contracts…..

  28. reality check

    Since Rihanna comments seem to exceed National Park comments about 6-1 and since many artists lend their names to environmental causes, maybe someone who knows her well can encourage her to get in touch with the Sanctuary people and attend the next rally to help save the Park and Barbados beaches. This is the kind of positive influence she could have internationally and especially in her own country.

  29. Hants

    @ Nostradamus

    “Unfortunately the Physical Development Plan 2003 (amended) has changed the use and classification of the BADMC lands from agriculture and open and recreational to urban development.”

    Who created and amended this Plan?

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

    BFP says…

    BLP created it to serve certain needs and to arrange for certain profitable outcomes.

    Once in power, the DLP passed it with a few changes – for much the same reasons as the BLP wanted it… except now the DLP is in the driver’s seat.

  30. Hants

    @ Sir Bentwood Dick

    Discovery bay hotel was built in Holetown swamp about 30 years ago and it hasn’t sunk yet.

    The swamp should have been preserved but there were no environmentalists back then.

  31. Tell It Like It Is

    Yep, “Wuh”, you hit the nail on the head. Right on the money.

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

    BFP says,

    What a liar you are. You post under two different names and have conversations with yourself! Wat a joker and what an agenda you have….

    Tell It Like It Is
    193.200.150.189
    Submitted on 2009/02/12 at 11:13am

    Yep, “Wuh”, you hit the nail on the head. Right on the money.
    Tell It Like It Is
    1
    ApproveUnapprove | Spam | Delete | Edit | Quick Edit | Reply

    Kiss Graeme Hall National Park and Nature Sanctuary Goodbye – Developers Circle For The Kill
    32 #
    Diggit
    193.200.150.189
    Submitted on 2009/02/10 at 1:24pm

    Aha! So that’s how you do it, “y3″/pp etc., etc., etc. Very crafty indeed but you forgot you posted the exact same thing under PP but you going trip up under all your names one of these days.
    Diggit
    1
    ApproveUnapprove | Spam | Delete | Edit | Quick Edit | Reply
    Readers Say Barbados Arch Cot Cave-In Construction Was A C.O. Williams – Gregory Hazzard Project For Liz Thompson

  32. Nostradamus

    BFP I made post yesterday and again today but it seems to have been caught in your spam filter.

  33. Sargeant

    Well looka ma crosses dis mawnin BFP says dat Diggit posting under nuff names., de very ting he accuse udder people a doin, me granmudda always use to say de firs fowl dat cackle lay de egg

    Wahloss ma belly………

  34. PiedPiper

    BFP, I want to thank you exposing those IPs and posting them. I was getting a little tired of trying to defend myself against “Diggit” who I also suspect is “San Diego”.

  35. San Diego

    PiedPiper,

    I was going to ignore you because, from what I have been reading on here, you appear to be a very sick individual, but I am not going to be dragged into the gutter with you and your quarrels with others. My IP is NOT 193.200.150.189.

  36. PiedPiper

    San Diego: I am well aware of how anonymouse.org web surfing works even though I don’t use it myself. That IP is a random IP that is allocated to the user whenever they access the web from anonymouse.org.

  37. Diggit

    BFP. Right, so you feel smart. You claim you caught me out and I’m a liar. Well, perhaps it was my intention to be caught, which hopefully will spur you on to GET OUT THERE AND CATCH THE OTHER LIARS AND FRAUDS. (YOU are the ones who instructed bloggers how to use Anonymouse, remember?)

    There are many others on here doing the same thing, and you darn well know it. It has been brought to your attention before, and you have banned some of them but they creep back under different names each and every time. But let’s start with the biggest one of all (I won’t embarrass him by giving his real name because I went to Lodge School with him), I am talking about Sargeant/Pied Piper. You think people on here are a bunch of idiots? Don’t you know that people can be put into categories through body language? The same way they can be categorised through writing style, sentence structure, etc. Check out how whenever you see Sargeant, two minutes later you will see Pied Piper, in the exact same style. People are NOT stupid. However, I think you must know by now how he does it, because if foolish me can figure it out, so can you. He has access to several different computers, and something called Y3, plus he e-mails his comments to friends and family and they post them from their computers (not to mention Anonymouse). This man got banned under a different name for lewd, graphic comments and insulting others. It is doubtful that you will ever catch that sly deceitful mongoose. He was a con artist, trickster and liar at school and he is still that up to now.

    You probably won’t publish this, or you’ll shove it into “moderation”. Okay, no problem. At least I’ve got that off my mind, and I am finished on here for good. Your friend may or may not get caught out some day. I done wid dat. Ciao.

  38. PiedPiper

    Diggit: You have no mind to get anything “off”. I can not speak for Sargeant because I am not he. I can, however speak, for myself. Firstly, I am a woman, a woman who was educated in England and Canada. I have never set foot in a Barbados school. I lived in Barbados for almost a decade and ran my own business. I would hazzard a guess that I am much older than Sargeant but I could be wrong.
    BFP is very much aware of the fact that I do not use anonymouse.org or any other IP masker. They see that my IP remains the same and when they use IP look-up or “Who Is” that my IP is provided by one of the largest Internet Service Providers in Canada. So you see Diggit, I have not one single thing to hide and therefore BFP has nothing to “catch”.
    Your quarrel seems to be with Sargeant, even though more than just a little irrational, so please keep your quarrel with me and leave me the hell out of your paranoid, sick little mind.

  39. PiedPiper

    “him”

  40. Sargeant

    @ Diggit

    Nice try, you got caught and now claim that it was intentional. Where have we heard this before? Like a thief who breaks into a home and tells the police he was just testing the security (LOL). I said previously that there was no benefit in responding to your increasingly paranoid rants but I can’t for the life of me figure out why I seem to get under your skin. I’m wondering what happened at school to make you so bitter, were my marks better than yours? Was I more popular than you were? Did we vie for the same lady’s attention and you lost? I thought that Lodge produced men, but every once in a while someone who doesn’t live up to standards slips through the cracks.

    Did you ever notice that I don’t care what name you blog under? My only advice was to contribute something meaningful to the discussion rather than come across as a pathetic loser and coward.