When Did The Director of Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit Find Religion… Or Was It Just For Earth Day?

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Click On The Photo To See The New Graeme Hall Video

Dr. Leo Brewster: “Inattention… irresponsibility” Threatens Wetlands, Recreational Areas, Reefs, Fisheries…

Here at Barbados Free Press, we really don’t know how to take the words of Dr. Leo Brewster, director of the Coastal Zone Management Unit for Barbados, as quoted in the current issue of The Nation.

Dr. Brewster’s words sound so noble

“…a national ocean policy should be based on, and guided by, fundamental principles, including: sustainability, stewardship, ocean-land-atmosphere connections; eco-system-based management; multiple use management; preservation of marine biodiversity; participatory governance; timeliness; accountability; and international responsibility.”

“Through inattention, lack of information and irresponsibility, we have indirectly depleted local reef and commercial fisheries, despoiled recreational areas, degraded water quality, drained wetlands, and on occasion endangered our own health…”

Contrast the words of Dr. Brewster with the actions of the Government of Barbados for the past year and – dare we say it – the inaction and impotence of his own agency, the Coastal Zone Management Unit. Let’s talk about the Graeme Hall wetlands, shall we?

Almost immediately after being elected in 2008, the Thompson DLP government changed the law to allow commercial development and building upon the Graeme Hall watershed — an area that had been protected in law for almost three decades. This was done so Prime Minister Thompson’s developer friends could profit from the sale of government lands at Graeme Hall and their own lands that border the nature sanctuary.

Dr. Brewster remained silent when the government committed this heinous act.

Now let us consider the fact that both the Owen Arthur and David Thompson governments have deliberately neglected to repair the sea gate at Graham Hall. As a result, the last mangrove forest on the island is slowly being poisoned as it is denied the natural ebb and flow of sea water into the mangroves. The government’s intent, of course, is to destroy the wetlands while avoiding the responsibility for doing so. When it is all done the swamp will be dead and the condo highrises will sprout in an area that should have been declared a national park.

Dr. Brewster, like so many frightened Barbadians who work in government service, speaks only in generalities. It is as if his sister is being raped within his sight, yet he does not come to her aid. He merely speaks of the general problem of abuse of women while his sister’s screams pierce the night.

So we ask Dr. Brewster: Which specific abuses were you talking about? Were you talking about the Graeme Hall wetlands? And what do you intend to do to save the last mangrove forest in Barbados from a government intent on profiting from our children’s future?

Further Reading

Graeme Hall National Park website

Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary website

BFP: Barbados Government Confirms Plans To Develop Graeme Hall Wetlands. Thompson’s Million-Dollar Lie


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Environment, Ethics, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Wildlife

15 responses to “When Did The Director of Barbados Coastal Zone Management Unit Find Religion… Or Was It Just For Earth Day?

  1. island gal

    I am hoping that perhaps Dr Brewster is talking about all of this in public and to the press which may be his own way of trying to ‘talk’ to governement to ask for help.

    By speaking out he may be forcing a response from governement.

    I live in the hope that this is the case.

    Dr Brewster? Please let us Barbadians know.

  2. Gordon

    It would be quite irresponsible if we as a nation fail to preserve this and several other important areas including Farley Hill ruins which should be restored and Sam Lord’s Castle which is being allowed to self destruct. Shame. Bajans seem to be afraid of standing up for their beliefs – why? When people say “You can’t say that” and I ask why, no one seems to have an answer. If we destroy all that is special about the island, it will no longer have the pulling power to attract tourists. as one of the most expensive sea and sand destinations, we MUST have something else, or say bye bye to tourism.

  3. bajanbat

    The present Administration shall and must be judged by their deeds. The PM’s agreement to allow development of the previously restricted area adjacent to the GH wetlands is probably the most environmentally disgraceful act of his administration to date. His other actions with respect to Clico are another matter.
    I too hope that Dr Brewster’s words area means of him trying to force Government to take some action to preserve the area. It takes a lot to get action from Government and urgent action is essential at this time.
    Is anyone in Government listening to us, the people, or are they ALL playing with their cellphones while the island collapses financially and environmentally – (Nero fiddled while Rome burned)!

  4. Nostradamus

    Saw this over on Barbados Underground.

    Application to take 136 acres out of agriculture.

    Notice of Public Consultation Nation page 26, Saturday March 28, 2009
    Consultation at the Meeting Hall of St. David’s Anglican Church on Monday April 27, 2009 at 6:00pm.
    The meeting will allow for comment and discussion on the proposed plans for the subdivision of lands at St. David’s Village, Ch. Ch and Staple grove Ch. Ch. Into lots for residential purposes.
    Prior to the consultation, you are invited to view the documentation on the project at the Town & Country Development Planning Officce, Church office St David’s Church, Wildey Gymnasium, Bridgetown Public Library.

    According to the “documentation” there is an application in Town Planning to change 136 acres of agricultural land, representing 30% of Staple Grove Plantation, from agricultural to residential.

    In the year 2009 shouldn’t “documentation” of this type also be posted on the web? Available for purchase from TCPDO ? If the intent really is for the public to be truly consulted it would be. Shouldn’t it be more widely advertised? I never saw the press ad myself.

    Will this be another “consultation” where just a handful of people attend? Will the Ministry of Agriculture be represented? James Paul from BAS? Parliamentary representative for the area? Agriculturalists?

    Who are the “applicants” and “developers”?

  5. Jukecheckedeyskirt

    All of you can talk till the cows come home, but Barbados is not tolerable of the truth. And the weapons of verbal reticence (victimization, scare tactics, shaming, slander, job lost, demotion, arson and life threatenings) have worked quite effectively in this country. If wunna think Dr. Brewster is a clown with a big fat red nose who would dare to put his tongue into his non- party- chilli- pepper -pot, than you people need to think twice. Dr. Brewster keep your public addresses general and subliminal, and let the truth be known when the facts come out.

  6. Mike Ashby

    I would like to review the PDP when it comes up for renewal next year. It appears that Bdos has had a natural resource that no one knew about all along, ALL 431 km2 of beautiful real estate, prime for foreign development. Do any bajans know why Europeans have to run to other countries in order to relax?

  7. Nostradamus

    Mike Ashby, the PDP is coming up for renewal next year?

  8. Mike Ashby

    Yes, let me give you two extracts from the 2003 document,

    “This document constitutes the Physical Development Plan Amended 2003, for Barbados. It is intended to provide a vision for the future growth and development of the nation by setting out policies to guide relationships among land uses, community facilities and physical infrastructure. It is also intended to coordinate public and private development initiatives in Barbados to the year 2010, within a framework of sustainable development.”

    As far as a review is concern, the docs says, a

    “Periodic comprehensive reviews of the PDP (Amended 2003) should be undertaken, at least every 5 years, in order to make policy adjustments to ensure the objectives of the plan are being met…”

    I would think that they would want to update after the 2010 period ends given what is happening at GRAEME HALL (GHNP), St. Davids, Staple Grove and other places.

  9. Nostradamus

    Mike Ashby , the PDP 2003 was passed in December 2007 and PM Thompson signed off on it in March or april 2008. I believe that the review process would start in 5 years from December of 2007 or March 2008.

    However I hope you are right and it is 2010. I guess it is a matter of interpretation. Remember that in 2003 they were talking about 2010 but it took 4 more years to be passed in Parlaiment.

  10. Mike Ashby

    You are right; I did come across that information on an additional search. Having taken 4 yrs to sign-off on the 2003 amendment I think it highly unlikely that they would start another review process next year, even though, it is the 2003 document that sets up the 2010 review. I would guess that best we can hope for is possibly 2013 or 2014 and then that would take another 4 yrs for a signature. If these can be left languishing because of someone’s self-interest, I don’t see how anyone can take these processes serious.

  11. Nostradamus

    The information below was on the TCDP website. It seems that the plan was approved by the Minister on the 19th day of October, 2006.


    S.I. 2006 No.

    Town and Country Planning Act
    CAP. 240

    The Minister in exercise of the powers conferred on him by section 10 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act, hereby gives the following Notice:

    1.This Notice may be cited as the Town and Country Planning Physical Development Amended Plan, 2003 (Approval) Notice, 2006.
    2.The Barbados Physical Development Plan as amended in 2003 has been approved by the Minister in accordance with the provisions of section 9 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
    3.Copies may be purchased at the price of $200.00 at the Town and Country Development Planning Office, Block “C”, the Garrison, in the parish of Saint Michael and the Government Printery, Bay Street, Saint Michael.
    4.The Barbados Physical Development Plan is also available for inspection at the Town and Country Development Planning Office between the hours of 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and at all branches of the National Library Service during normal business hours.
    Given this 19th day of October, 2006.
    Minister responsible for Town and Country Planning.

  12. Mike Ashby

    Thanks for the update. if TCDPO is adhearing to this document, where is the disconnect?

  13. RRRicky

    In January of 2008, Thompson and the new government changed the Physical Development Plan to allow the building of houses and commercial development on the Graeme Hall wetlands.

    The PDP doesn’t mean a thing if governments do not adhere to it and change it every time they want to sell some land to their friends.

  14. Realtor

    I must say that Barbadians have a beautiful look out all along the south coast. But the Board Walk is certainly a stretch to be enjoyed. More locals can come out and enjoy that breath of fresh air. Wonderful isn’t it! Surely an enhancement to the environment. Kudos to the planners.

  15. Mike Ashby

    What is it you are saying? It can’t be that you are saying that a built environment is better than a natural one.