Barbados Government & media focus on trees, coral and beaches. Wetlands are a forbidden topic.


“Wetlands” a banned topic in Barbados Media & Politics

Our newspapers, television and radio media are never lacking in articles and reminders about the importance of our natural environment. If there’s not a story in the Nation about cleaning up the gullies, there will be a piece in the Barbados Advocate about the bleaching of coral due to the rise in ocean temperatures. If the CBC isn’t running something about a planting day for some school, then Brass Tacks will be talking about keeping the beaches clean and accessible.

Check out the coverage of the third annual Arbor Expo this past weekend. It was by all accounts a smashing success at demonstrating the importance of trees and vegetation to Bajans. Trees control soil erosion, cool the environment, purify water, reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, replenish oxygen and sustain myriads of different species as shelter, food and protection. Not to forget their beauty and contribution to our social lives and the economy.

Bajans again were given the clear message – Take away the trees and vegetation and see how long the soil and the tourists last! But not a word about wetlands.

Politicians talk about every environmental concern: except one

Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe is a frequent commentator in the media. I saw him on CBC not too long ago talking about the importance of vegetation and trees in reducing flooding and maintaining healthy soils. (As further evidence of Dr. Lowe’s concern for the environment, we can also mention that he is frequently seen checking out the beach wildlife at the Hilton right after the luncheon buffet.)

Prime Minister Thompson recently spoke in New York City on the potential for Global Warming to devastate coastal areas, and how small island states like Barbados lack the higher elevation land areas and financial resources to effectively deal with the threat.

My friends, there is no doubt that our Barbados government and news media are paying more attention to environmental concerns and the protection of our natural environment than we have previously seen in the 25 years since I personally started paying attention to these issues.

There’s just one thing lacking though…

DLP changed law to permit development of Graeme Hall greenspace

DLP changed law to permit development of Graeme Hall greenspace

The Government and News Media never talk about the importance of Coastal Wetlands, Swamps or Mangrove Forests

Now that I’ve mentioned it, think about it. When was the last time you saw an news article on Wetlands, Swamps or Mangrove Forests? With the exception of some “Letters to the Editor”, when was the last time you saw some detailed investigative journalism about the DLP government’s changing the law to allow development on previously-protected greenspace at Graeme Hall? When was the last time you heard a politician of any party talking about the importance of coastal wetlands or their preservation?

Go ahead – try Google. Try the archives at The Nation. Look through the Barbados Advocate old issues.

Except for a single self-serving statement last January (forced by the closing of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary) Minister of the Environment Denis Lowe is coming up on two years since he last uttered the words “Graeme Hall” or “wetlands” or “mangroves” or “nature sanctuary” in public.

Denis Lowe, David Thompson Serving Land Developers & Friends: Not the people of Barbados

As an Opposition Senator back in February of 2006, Denis Lowe called for the strict limitation of development anywhere near the Graeme Hall wetlands. Lowe dropped that line when it became obvious his DLP was going to win the election. He then voted to change the law and allow commercial development on previously-protected Graeme Hall greenspace.

I guess that Prime Minister Thompson had a word with Dr. Lowe about CLICO’s land holdings at Graeme Hall and how the PM’s good friend Leroy Parris wanted to make some money from the greenspace.

And that is how we come to this, old friends. In the Barbados government and news media, “wetlands” and “Graeme Hall” are banned words. Discussing how the DLP changed the law to permit commercial development of previously-protected greenspace is a banned topic.

Here’s the visual proof: a map of the changes (click map to enlarge). Ask yourself why you haven’t seen a story on it in the Barbados news media…



Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Disaster, Environment, Offshore Investments, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

8 responses to “Barbados Government & media focus on trees, coral and beaches. Wetlands are a forbidden topic.

  1. “Although the leggy trees of a mangrove forest seem to have little in common with the clear blue waters of a colorful coral reef, these two ecosystems are closely connected to each other.”

    Read more:

  2. Blp

    The wetlands need cutting up and selling as house spots.

  3. akabozik

    BLP agrees with the DLP then, because that is what the DLP and BLP did when both parties passed the new land use plan in January 2008.

  4. Tudor

    BLP with your insensitivity it would surprise if you are among those dumping garbage in gullies.

  5. Tudor

    BLP should have read ït would not surprise me if you

  6. If the Ministry of The Environment is so concerned about trees and shrubs why are they letting them fall into the ocean in Road View/Mullins – – when it is clear they can do something to stop it? It makes me sick to read about and hear and see these people speechifying about the environment while presiding over its destruction.

  7. Du

    Talking about wetlands, when will the small remaining bit of the Chancery Lane swamp be filled and converted to residential or hotel use?

  8. Bajan Woman crying

    What is the status of the Grayam Hall sanctuary? Is it still closed?